Rome Little Theatre builds community

Name, Campus Carrier (Reporter or official title)

Senior Cardie McCLure as a nun in the musical “The Sound of Music” with Rome Little Theatre.

For over 60 years, Rome Little Theatre (RLT) has provided the residents of Floyd County with quality musicals and plays.

Founded in 1956, RLT has had a consistent season of three or four shows each year. In 1981, RLT moved from the Rome City Auditorium and found its new home at the DeSoto Theatre on Broad Street.

RLT relies heavily on the work of volunteers to pull off their performances. There is one full-time staff member, Hannah Cook, who serves as the executive director and coordinates volunteering for each show. 

“I love people,” Cook said. “I love connecting people with people, and I love the energy that comes from show night.” 

Volunteers have been the foundation of RLT since it began. The theatre offers lifetime memberships to people who helped build the original set from the first show. From stage design to costuming and makeup, to raising money for the theatre, volunteer work has been an integral part of anything RLT produces. 

“My focus is absolutely community oriented,” Cook said. “I like to tell everyone, ‘bring whatever your talent is.’” 

Freshman and Rome resident Madison Brinson has volunteered with RLT since she was 11 years old, starting with “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” She starred as Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” when she was 16 and helped with hair and makeup for “Into the Woods” in 2016. 

Brinson has enjoyed her time with RLT and is excited to work with them again in the future. 

“It’s like a big family,” Brinson said. “Everyone hangs out outside of RLT and we’re all really close.”  

Another student, senior and Rome resident Cardie McClure, is heavily involved in RLT, having participated in productions like “Sound of Music,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and “Legally Blonde.” McClure is currently a member of the Berry College Theatre Company and credits her love of theatre to RLT. 

“It absolutely fueled my love and passion for theatre,” McClure said. “I definitely recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a starting point.”

RLT’s 2017 productions include “9 to 5” and “The Jungle Book.” Cook said that Berry students are more than welcome to audition for shows if they want to, and encourages anyone who has something to offer to contribute. 

“We can have this shared experience even though we don’t know each other,” Cook said. “I absolutely would not be who I am today without being involved in community theatre.”

Leave a Reply