By Kathy L. Collins
The James McCabe Theatre in Valrico is a registered historical site and the home of the Village Players. In 2015, the community will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the historic building. The building is the only remaining commercial structure from Valrico’s construction boom of the early 20th century.
When it was originally built, it was the home of the Valrico Civic Club. In the mid 1950’s, it became the home of the Woman’s Club. It was taken back by Hillsborough County in the 1970’s. The building was deeded to the Village Players in 1994. Soon thereafter it was designated a historical site.
The Village Players have been stalwart stewards of the building and property, and have actively worked toward restoring the building through a variety of fundraising efforts including the now famous Dinner Theatre which opens each of The Village Players’ new shows.
The Village Players will present Canterbury Tales or Geoffrey Chaucer’s Flying Circus this August. Tickets are available for August 14, 16 and 17 shows.
“This play takes the classic, Canterbury Tales, mixes it with Monty Python type humor and adds a dash of local American improv to produce a wonderfully funny show,” said Director Hal Granholm.
Several businesses with community minded owners such as Paul and Tammy Holmberg, owners of the Chick fil A at Lake Brandon Village and Westfield Mall, have stepped up to be community partners with The Village Players in their efforts to raise funds to restore and renovate the James McCabe Theatre. Chick fil A sponsored the Dinner Theatre on opening night for Canterbury Tales or Geoffrey Chaucer’s Flying Circus. In addition, Tammy Holmberg, through Chicks for Charity, held a movie night which raised $3,000 for the theatre.
“We could not hope to raise the money needed to restore this beautiful building without the support of business owners like the Holmbergs,” said Gail Pierce of The Village Players.
In September, The Village Players will present the highly acclaimed, Fiddler on the Roof. Restaurants interested in hosting a Dinner Theatre, call 643-8292.