01/31/08 — New Paramount director ready to see stage light up at theater

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New Paramount director ready to see stage light up at theater

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on January 31, 2008 1:52 PM

Sherry Archibald wants Wayne County residents to feel welcome once the curtains open at the new Paramount Theatre this February.

"People may think that you have to be elite to come to the theater," Mrs. Archibald said. "You don't. But I want to make everyone feel like they are elite when they are there."

The new director wants the theater to be a place where the community can bond.

"This may sound a little funny, that a building can do such a thing, but I want it to bring people together," she said. "And I think it can. I want everyone to be able to attend the theater, and I want them to let me know along the way what they want. It is the community's theater."

With the construction still on schedule and the grand opening only a few weeks away, Mrs. Archibald has a full plate.

Her first three weeks on the job have given her some of what she needs to succeed in making the theater the best it can be, but there is more to learn and to do, she said.

Much of her first week was spent meeting people and learning what her job entailed.

"It has been a whirlwind," she said.

Now that she has had time to sit down and actually set out goals, Mrs. Archibald is ready to make the theater the best it has ever been.

She realizes that she can't make everyone happy, but she said she will try by bringing all types of performances to the new, but classically designed Center Street building.

Since she took the job as theater director, Mrs. Archibald has made presentations to various groups and tried to organize scheduling of the theater.

"We are almost booked on weekends through summer," she said. "It hasn't even opened, and we are getting full. I can't imagine what it will be like after the opening. I told my (husband) that I will see him in August."

Trying to get rates established for renting the theater has been a big job, too.

Mrs. Archibald has set the rates at a level that she believes is comparable to other facilities in the city and will also be enough to pay the theater's bills.

At this time, there are no discounts for non-profit organizations or city or county residents who want to rent the theater.

But, that could change in six months, she added, when she will rework the rates based on suggestions and thoughts of those booked to rent the facility.

As busy as her job is now, Mrs. Archibald is happy and ready for the excitement to continue.

"I love being around the community and being back with the city," she said. "It feels like I'm back home."

Opening day might be a little busier than now, but she is counting down the days until Feb. 16 just the same.

She is ready to see people's eyes light up when they walk through the front door and take their places in the 500 new seats as they await the debut performance.

"What do I expect for the opening?" she said, with a laugh. "I expect a full house."