In his eight seasons of involvement, Chuck Colby recently auditioned for a role at The Encore Musical Theatre Company that he has never had before. Since mid-November, Colby, who has been a volunteer, board member and performer at the theater, has been working as the theater’s development director, a newly formed position created with the help of a grant.
We Love Dexter staff spoke with Colby on Dec. 18 about what’s in store for The Encore.
Colby first heard about the idea of a Dexter theater forming several years ago, when he met with Dan Cooney, a Broadway performer who helped start the theater, and is now The Encore’s artistic director.
“I said it would be awesome to have this theater come to fruition in this community,” Colby said. “I think that The Encore is a tremendously important asset. It changes the face of our business community and commerce here in town. Every ticket that’s purchased also affects the restaurants because there’s a meal that’s purchased and a drink afterwards. (The theater’s presence) really changes the community for the better.”
Colby was involved in interviewing candidates for the position he has now, when he realized the opening was a perfect vehicle for him to help the theater grow.
“Midway through the process, I decided that’s really what I wanted to do and I threw my hat in the ring,” Colby said. “I’m so happy to have been selected to do this.”
In his new position, Colby is stepping up the theater’s marketing presence with increased visibility through social media, email and mailing campaigns.
Colby also said the theater is trying to set more money aside to utilize advertising methods like billboards and radio commercials.
“We are starting to rely more on investment of businesses we have in the community and sponsors that we have for the shows to help spread the word,” Colby said. “The more capital we have up front, the more we can get the word out.”
The Encore often hosts professional performers with Broadway credits alongside local talent.
Colby said a film series, storytelling series and concerts to be held throughout the year are new additions this season, which traditionally feature five to six productions running from September through August.
Colby said his position’s biggest challenge is raising awareness that The Encore exists in Dexter. Colby said it’s tough for him, after investing so much time at The Encore, to hear people being given directions from passers-by to The Purple Rose Theatre Company in Chelsea when they have tickets to The Encore right in town.
“For people in Dexter to not know we’re here is a little surprising, but it tells me that I’ve got my job carved out for me,” Colby said. “I really need to increase the awareness that we’re here and that we’re here to stay. We’ve had some real high points and I think we’re really gaining momentum right now and coming into a whole new level of theater for The Encore.”
Colby also performs and does the booking for his own group, Three Men and a Tenor.
The Encore Musical Theatre Company, located at 3126 Broad St. in Dexter, is a non-profit theater company. The Encore can be found on Facebook and Twitter. Show tickets are for sale online and can be purchased by calling the box office at (734) 268-6200.