WYO Theater Celebrates Its 30th Birthday
The WYO Theater in Sheridan, known originally as the Lotus, has been around since 1923 . In 1929, it ran the first talkie in the state and became a movie theater for many years.
The theater was saved from demolition in the 1980s, and now it's celebrating the anniversary of its reopening.
The performing arts theater currently holds live music events, musicals, and community performances, and houses classroom space for Sheridan College.
WYO Theater Executive Director Erin Butler said, over the years, the WYO has grown and taken over buildings next to it. She said the expansions have allowed the theater to offer more experiences to the community.
"I think it's changed the way people perceive the performing arts because they've come to the WYO and had different experiences they feel more ownership of the space. Then they can perhaps feel more comfortable coming to something they might now otherwise attend," she said.
To celebrate, the theater will host a party to celebrate its place in Sheridan's community over the years.
"One of the elements of the 30th birthday party is something we're calling the living history exhibit. And there'll be lots of opportunities for many people from the community to speak about different eras of the WYO Theater or maybe their particular experiences here," Butler said.
She added that the party will also highlight each space in the building to show community members the different ways the theater is used. For example, there will be face painting in the dressing room.
"Hopefully [the party] will give people a sense of what is here and what they could possibly utilize the WYO for and not just coming to see something on the main stage," Butler said.
The party will begin at 5:00 p.m. Thursday, September 12. The event is open to the public.