Big plans for arts in Hogansville
Published 8:00 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Five years ago, the Hogansville Regional Arts Association (HRAA) helped persuade the city council to renovate the historic Royal Theatre.
In anticipation of the completion of the first phase of the renovation — expected in Spring 2024 — the HRAA is gearing up to make a return to theatrical performances.
Angie Bennett, current volunteer board president, said since the rebirth of the organization in 2017, it has been surviving on the energy of relatively few people.
“During the pandemic, our organization focused on visual arts. With a change in leadership that has more of a background in the performing arts, we look to begin regular performing arts events in Hogansville,” Bennett said.
Starting in the spring, the HRAA is partnering with the Azalea Storytelling Festival in presenting a storytelling event at Springfield Baptist, a local church on the west side of town. This event will be on March 1, featuring stories from the Rev. Robert Jones.
On April 16, the organization will partner with Southern Arc Dance out of Newnan for an outdoor performance of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” at Askew Park, with the Royal Theatre as a backdrop.
The season will conclude June 3 with an in-house produced “FUNdraising” Cabaret.
“It’s exciting to have been part of this journey and moving forward after a lot of talk for years. The theater will bring in a lot of different parts of our community to enjoy the arts together,” Bennett said.
“I hope that the city continues to evolve and include different parts of our community in the conversation and decision-making process because we really do empower the whole community.”
HRAA’s performance of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” will be the organization’s first act in its return. This production is a partnership with Southern Arc Dance, who will market, promote and add additional actors to the show, Bennet said.
“To be honest at the moment, since the pandemic HRAA doesn’t have the manpower or support to be producing an event like this by ourselves, but that’s our goal,” Bennett said.
“To be partnering with a producing organization like them will be amazing. It will also really emphasize how important it is to partner with other people in surrounding communities.”
Bennett said in partnering with organizations and directors the future HRAA shows will grow and include more diverse talent.
“Not only are you getting into a wider pool of talent and structure in the art business, but you get energy added to your community, Bennett said.
“We have a lot of room to grow, and these partnerships will be important for different reasons.”
In upcoming shows, the HRAA will be holding auditions. A set date hasn’t been announced, but Bennett said HRAA will be making the announcements on the organization’s Facebook page sometime in April.
For more information on HRAA visit, https://www.facebook.com/HogansvilleRegionalArtsAssociation.