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Limelight Theatre for the People, by the People

By David Boegaard

The Limelight Theatre is St. Augustine's premier community theatre. A community theatre is a theatre where anyone can audition for a part in a performance, explains Limelight's Director of Marketing & Publicity, Renee Unsworth. "We have children, professionals (lawyers, doctors, etc.), and retired residents who are volunteer actors in our 8 (month-long) productions each year." The Limelight also teams up with local businesses and non-profits to put on performances throughout the city, and has year-round acting classes and performance involving kids from 4 to 18 year old.

The Limelight was founded more than 20 years ago, in 1992. While they were first establishing themselves, they performed in a variety of different venues. But after 9 years, and with the help of substantial grant from the Joukowsky Family Foundation, they were able to purchase their current, 125-seat theatre on Old Mission Ave. Since then the Limelight has even added a black-box theatre for practices and more intimate performances.

Each season the Limelight performs a wide variety of different kinds of shows across the spectrum of "musicals, comedies, and dramas," says Unsworth. Not to mention the performances put on by children. "KidzfACTory program also offers children's plays and musicals."

In recent years, the theatre has put on a number of especially well-received performances on the main stage. "The Addams Family, staged in the 2014-15 season was a popular show, as was Oliver! and Hello, Dolly," says Unsworth. "Productions with songs and familiar characters also pleases our audiences!"

As a community theatre, the entire purpose is to serve the community by delighting some as audience members and giving space to others to perform. But the Limelight doesn't restrict itself to these contributions, notes Unsworth. "In addition to offering live entertainment for the community, Limelight Theatre also partners with restaurants and businesses in St. Augustine, creating a community that helps support one another."

Partnering with local businesses is not the end of their community service, however. "Limelight also works with other arts nonprofits in the St. Augustine area," says Unsworth, "such as First Coast Opera, the EMMA Concert Association, St. Johns County Center for the Arts, and the St. Augustine Community Chorus." For each of these organizations, and many more, the Theater puts on performances to enthrall and delight.

To see Limelight Theatre's season, please visit www.limelight-theatre.org.

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