The Community Playhouse



The playhouse that originally was instrumental in renovating the South Jackson theatre was a profit sharing resident beginning in 1979.  The playhouse presented the first play in that building.  In the early 1990's the two organizations drew up a contract that made the playhouse a renter of space and stage time.  The playhouse would contract for 4 to 5 plays per year and negotiated a new contract yearly. The financial burden of an old, drafty, decaying building caused the SJCC and Tullahoma city to seek ways to recover some of the enormous cost.  The result for the playhouse was increasing rent and reduced access to the good weekends  because of increased SJCC programming. 

The playhouse which had always been  profitable was faced with reduced stage availability and increased rent.  The  playhouse often had to rent other facilities to recoup the good weekends.   In time, SJCC began to produce plays on their own and the very identity of the  playhouse became threatened. Even the mayor was honestly confused about who  produced the play "12 Angry Men" when he wrote a very complimentary letter to the editor and attributed the play to SJCC.  Loss of identity made selling program ads and seeking donations impossible because people had already given to the SJCC and didn't recognize the renter. 

Ultimately, the playhouse found  no solution to the high rent for limited stage access and were forced to  relocate in order to remain solvent.  It is time for a new, modern, efficient theatre suitable for a city of our  stature.  The old SJCC building, albeit full of good memories and civic pride, is and will continue to be, a financial burden that is unbearable.

The  playhouse is willing to write grants, conduct fund raisers, and seek financing  for a new theatre and plan to go it alone or accept help from anyone who is  willing.