Situated in the middle of Johnson City and built in a refurbished firehouse, Goodwill Theatre’s Schorr Family Firehouse Stage has the perfect vibe for a classy night of music, but caters equally well to various plays and musicals it shows throughout the year.
The theatre hosts a wide variety of events including cabaret shows, jazz concerts, classical music concertos, comedy pieces, storytelling and more.
Almost 70 events are scheduled for this year, and planning for next year has already begun.
“It’s like fitting together a big puzzle,” said general manager Christine Springer about scheduling.
“We start by looking at shows we invested in, but haven’t done yet,” she said. “Then we go to conferences around the country and ask, ‘Can we use this? Can we take that?’”
Springer highlighted the fact that scheduling every show is one of the hardest parts of managing the theatre, second only to putting on the theatre’s own productions. However, she also said it’s one of the most rewarding.
“I’m most proud when, after all this work, people enjoy the shows we put on,” Springer said. “It’s a good feeling.”
Springer’s personal favorite events are the story readings.
“Literacy is very important to me, and these family-oriented shows encourage that,” Springer said.
On top of the already difficult show-scouting and scheduling process, the venue is undergoing construction next season in order to house a new training center and spaces for local community organizations to show off their media. The renovation will also serve to consolidate Goodwill Theatre’s properties into a single complex.
“We’ve been scouting other venues to hold our shows for over a year now,” Springer said. “Putting all of this together is going to be a lot harder when we don’t even know what stages certain shows are going to be on next year.”
As far as offerings for students go, she believes there is something that caters to all sorts of interests. For those who don’t just want to watch, the venue also hosts jazz jams where anyone can join in. Participation in these jams is $10, but free if you bring your own instruments.
Springer also emphasized the need for local support.
“We usually bring musicians and actors from outside, but we have a core group of local performers,” she said. “We’d love to see more students getting involved in the local theatre community.”
The next scheduled show is a stand-up comedy event held by the NYC Ladies of Laughter on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15.