Imagine's mission is to educate and promote personal growth for performers and audiences through extraordinary theatrical experiences.
Imagine will be a prominent, inclusive and respected theatrical organization in Central Ohio. Through artistic and community partnerships and sound financial practices, we will continue to grow our production values and educational experiences.
June of 2011 found the cast of The Wedding Singer, already in the middle of the rehearsal process, without a home. Their troupe had disbanded, leaving director Tim Valentine with a show that appeared would not go on. Ed Eblin and Jim Nothnagel, members of the former company assembled the troops and put together a band of theater lovers who would work together to keep the dream going.
They also connected with Scot Hafler, owner of Wall Street Nightclub, who liked the idea of having a theater company performing in his venue and opened a door to a wonderful partnership. Stonewall Columbus also offered their facilities to accommodate rehearsals and the cast of The Wedding Singer was again back on track.
On July 11, 2011, Imagine Productions of Columbus was formed as a non-profit organization with the State of Ohio and with investment from many of our founding board members, a plan for a new breed of theater emerged. On August 14, 2011, Imagine's inaugural show The Wedding Singer opened to intimate crowds excited about the new venue and fresh feel. In October, Imagine hit the stage to continue a Columbus Halloween tradition with the cult classic Rocky Horror Show. Imagine's first public event was Highball Halloween, where a frozen crowd joined the scantily clad performers in "The Time Warp".
The 2012 Season took shape with a desire to do shows that were new, fresh and maybe a bit out of the box for many more traditional theaters. To kick it off, Wall Street hosted the now annual fundraising night, Over the Top: An Evening of Musical Theater. Money was raised to begin the season, which offered two Central Ohio premieres; Spring Awakening and Avenue Q, a large diverse cast in Hairspray and a continuation of the tradition with The Rocky Horror Show. The cast of Avenue Q was a huge hit in Imagine's first float in the annual Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade. The season was a huge success, building a large and active community, bringing in new talent both on and off stage. Paying mind to Imagine's mission, for the holiday season, groups of Imagine's members sang Christmas carols at local retirement homes and ended the season sharing the excitement of the year.
2013 enjoyed similar success, again bringing in a load of wonderfully talented people. Chicago brought in huge crowds with a stellar cast and Urinetown showed Imagine's satirical side. Again, Imagine offered two Central Ohio premieres, both adaptations of popular movies; 9 to 5: The Musical and the Mel Brooks cult classic Young Frankenstein. Again excited to get involved with the community, June's annual Pride Parade featured a float with the cast of 9 to 5.
2014 brought a brand new ticketing system and a new way for the community to support the theater they love . We started the season adding two new cabarets; Miscast and Let's Duet Together that joined our new friends and Imagine alumni on stage for nights of hilarious fun. La Cage Aux Folles was a truly transformative experience for audiences and actors alike. Imagine joined OCTA and took an excerpt from La Cage to regional competition. Rent packed the house and Hair brought out the hippies for Pride AND the month of August. Our board leadership changed and new faces joined to guide Imagine forward. Little Shop of Horrors put a tremendous carnivorous plant on stage and we even added The Rocky Horror Show Shadowcast to our schedule to spice up Halloween. We ended our year with a tremendously successful Over the Big Top cabaret, which exceeded all previous cabaret shows.
More updates to follow!