CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A cornerstone of historic downtown Conway is celebrating 50 years in Horry County.
The Theatre of the Republic, or T.O.R., was established in 1969. In the early years, the theatre performed in various locations, including Coastal Carolina University’s Wheelwright Auditorium.
In 1999, with the help of the City of Conway, Main Street USA and other local owners, the theatre was able to move into its current home on Main Street, said Tim McGhee, Executive Artistic Director of the Theatre of the Republic.
T.O.R. is kicking off its half-century celebration this month with performances January 25, 26 and 27. Actors will be in costume to perform different songs from productions put on over the past 50 years, McGhee said.
The 50th anniversary celebration will also continue through the rest of 2019.
“Throughout the year we’re going to be doing shows that are in celebration of our 50th year so we’ve got some surprises coming along and so, throughout the year, through December 31st, we will be having different things in the year-long celebration in the history of the Theatre of the Republic,” McGhee explained.
If you’ve never attended a show at the T.O.R., McGhee doesn’t want you to be fooled. Though the theatre looks small from the outside, he says its intimate atmosphere makes the audience feel like they’re on stage with the actors.
“There’s a lot of people out there we haven’t reached yet, and we’re trying to figure out how to do that also, but if you love theater and you love live performances, I always say we’re not the typical community theater and I would put our actors and our performers in our shows in a contest with many other people so we’re very proud of what we do here,” McGhee said.
T.O.R puts on 10 shows a year, or about one a month. In February, you can catch performances of Footloose. If you’re into comedies, one about marriage called “It Shoulda Been You” runs from May 1st through May 19th.
Due to the rising production costs for the non-profit theatre, ticket prices are going up to $30 for the upcoming season, according to McGhee.
As for those of you with a bug for acting, he says anyone is welcome to come through their doors for an audition.
The best way to find out about the shows the Theatre of the Republic is working on or about future auditions is to follow them on their social media pages or to visit their website.
“I wish everyone would come and give us a chance, to come and see what we do here,” McGhee said.