State Theatre readies to reopen in February with new staff and vision

The outside marquee lights may be dark at the State Theatre, but the midnight oil is burning bright on the inside. The State Theatreâ??s getting ready for a rebirth in 2016 with newly minted Executive Director Steven Barker at the helm.

Along with new key staff including Amy Bowling as Development Director, Kelly Ward as the Operations Manager, longtime STF technician Daniel Wildermann stepping into the role of Production Manager, and former Executive Assistant and House Manager Felicia Willeman returning as the new Customer Relations Manager, Barker is confident that the State Theatre Foundation now has the right team in place to transform the State Theatre into the performing arts venue the community and region have always needed.

â??Upon reflection, what we (the board and staff) realized we needed most was a passionate team to lead a clear vision to full sustainability through multiple avenues of community support. We have always had the parts and pieces and enjoyed some successes. This time around, we have the whole team assembled and ready to bring their A game.â? says Barker.

The team not only includes the above mentioned paid staff, but also dedicated volunteers in Laura Loveday as a Grant Writer and Denise Mabie as the Membership Coordinator, as well as Tara Moylan as Administrative Assistant. These individuals, in addition to the fantastic troupe of volunteer concessionaires and ushers, are another part of the new passion and vision behind the State Theatreâ??s reopening.

The board of directors also has new blood, with several new board members coming onboard this month and others still being recruited from inside and outside the region. To help with the sustainability part of their mission, the board is transitioning into a fundraising board with the help of volunteer board advisor Joe Grills.

In addition to the new people at the State Theatre, Barker and his staff are hard at work programming the venue to reopen. An exciting February schedule has been crafted that reaches out to State Theatre lovers old and new.
The Spring 2016 season opens just in time for CRIâ??s Downtown Carnival on February 6th with returning favorite Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience ready to rock the house. Bluegrass and Motown acts are also planned for the month as well as a Valentinesâ?? Day Date Night movie and Open Mic Night. Two events for youth, a Teen Takeover Dance and a Gaming Tournament are also on the calendar. Tickets for all of these events are available on the State Theatre website,

This Februaryâ??s relaunch is only the beginning, as Barker plans to bring performing arts education classes for youth and adults as well as a community theatre troupe into play (pun intended).
Barker emphasizes, â??The Arts build Communities. Itâ??s as simple as that. There are so many possibilities in Culpeper and the Piedmont region. Itâ??s time to tap into those amazing resources of talent and show the rest of the Commonwealth and country, what we have to offer.â?

With a refreshing new spirit of collaboration surrounding the venue, there is no doubt that the State Theatre is on its way to sustainability and success. â??For patrons familiar and new,â? Barker adds, â??weâ??ve got your tickets waiting!â?

For more information about this and other events, visit the State Theatre website at or the State Theatre Facebook page at

The State Theatreâ??s mission is to provide a venue for the arts and arts education to the North Central Virginia region. We will be inclusive in our programming, inclusive in access to the facilities, and wish to broaden accessibility to all forms of the arts, including film, dance, music, theatre and the visual arts.
~ Showcasing The Arts To Everyone