This fall, the doors of Norcross' newest arts center are opening in the Summerour Cotton Gin at 125 Lawrenceville Street. Norcross’ award-winning Lionheart Theatre Company is expanding, offering classes and workshops for all ages and skill levels. According to theatre owner Tanya Caldwell, the new Centre’s calendar includes classes on acting, voice, dance, playwriting and much more. There are even Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre events; the first is scheduled for September 19 – 21 (tickets at www.lionheartpac.com).
The facility was once Norcross’ cotton gin mill, with the original structure dating back to the Civil War era, when cotton was an important crop for local farmers. The gin’s original owner, Homer Summerour, made history in the early 1900’s when he developed a new variety of cottonseed that yielded more fiber when it was ginned – farmers simply addressed their seed orders to “Cotton Man, Norcross, Georgia.” Lionheart will breathe new life into the historic structure, while continuing to offer shows at its 10 College Street playhouse.
“This is the next big step in Lionheart’s growth,” said Centre Director Jason Caldwell. “This space will be buzzing day and night with homeschoolers, playwrights, actors and special events.”
In addition to workshops and classes, the space will also host art exhibits, and eventually include a gift shop. The Centre expands the footprint of Norcross’ historic commercial district and enhances the town’s growing reputation as cultural arts hub for the metro area.
“The Centre is possible through the generous support of Norcross-based jewelry designer Anna Balkan and the Norcross Downtown Development Authority,” adds Caldwell. “The City of Norcross had just recently purchased the gin and really helped us get up and running quickly. The community is very excited about our vision and so are we!”
For more information about the new Lionheart Performing Arts Centre, please visit www.lionheartPAC.com.