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Warren Arts a community asset
Warren Arts logo
This marks the first theatrical show for Warren Arts Foundation.

The Warren Arts Foundation, Inc. (Warren Arts) was incorporated as a corporation registered in Tennessee in June 2017 after group meetings in April and May. By March 2018, Warren Arts became a 501(c)3 charity organization.  

Warren Arts began with a 125-seat location on Red Road. Nine shows were performed there over 2017 and 2018.  

This February, Warren Arts purchased a 10,000-square-foot building and seven acres at 5482 Manchester Highway in Morrison. Warren Arts opened at this site on Feb. 22, 2019.  There have been two shows at the new location to date with the second-half season immediately ahead for the rest of 2019.  

Shows this year are three non-musicals and five musicals. Seating capacity is 195 to 205 depending on stage and audience layout.  

The chair of the board of Directors of Warren Arts is Sheri Denning. The chair-elect and art director is Chad McGee. Other directors are Julie Cantrell, Rachel McGee, Hannah Gribble, Sheri Garrett, Kennette Dixon, Valerie Womack, Rob Nunley, Marc Pyburn, and Dorian Loeffler. Directors serve three-year terms.  

Conducting live shows is a planned means of fundraising. Warren Arts also appeals for corporate and private sponsors. In addition to shows and sponsors, Warren Arts is active in applying for grants from art organizations, state programs, and local trusts. Current corporate sponsors include Smile Doctors (for 2019 season), Morrison Hardware, and Homeland Community Bank. Corporate sponsors have a range of support that could be offered from $100 to building naming rights.  

The Warren Arts website is Warren Arts uses this website as a vehicle for customers to order tickets, to apply for acting and/ or volunteer roles, etc. The official mission statement is on the website and is as follows:

Warren Arts will provide a wide range of arts education and presentation opportunities for all ages in Warren and surrounding counties through development of a comprehensive arts center.

Warren Arts has well over 100 active actors/ actresses who are participants. They have 14 directors to date. Warren Arts maintains an active e-mail contact list over 900 that includes actors and volunteers. They currently have 130 volunteers who are involved in costumes, sets, building things, maintenance, marketing, ticketing, technical assistance with lighting & sounds, and running errands.

They use Facebook as a communications medium with almost 2,000 followers. An important part of the Warren Arts culture is the practice of training volunteers and actors at all levels of experience (or lack thereof) and ages.

The Warren Arts Board of Directors and Show Development Committee plan the shows to be performed. This is normally done six months in advance. Purchasing the rights to a show/ play involves a cost from $100s to $1,000s. 

Casting for a new show normally is done 2-3 months prior to show opening. A casting call is made to the e-mail list and via Facebook. There is normally a 6-8 week practice/ rehearsal period before show time. Rehearsal time is 2-4 hours a day, 4-5 days a week during the 6-8 weeks.

The vision of Warren Arts is to be an offering of theatre and the arts. This can or will include plays, musicals, art gallery shows, future music festivals, etc. The opening show at the new location, “The Wizard of Oz,” was a youth show with the cast mostly middle school to high school age.  The show director was 15 years old.

There are currently over 50 season ticket holders. The goal is to increase season ticket holders to about 100. The new location is visible to the thousands of people who travel via the four-lane Highway 55.

There are 5-6 shows per performance using Friday, Saturday nights and a Sunday matinee over two weekends. The evenings start normally at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.   The highlight of the Warren Arts facility is the theatre layout with three elevated viewing areas – center and two ends. There are five rows of comfortable seating (including the floor) with each row separated by 8-inch risers helping to assure excellent sightlines for the audience. Seating is right next to the stage offering 3-D intimacy.  

The acoustics are ideal, meaning the audience can hear the performance and see up close the action. This will create a unique experience to all in attendance. Professional lighting and sound systems are installed and are accessed at a central control station in the rear of the theatre. Most shows will be around two hours in length with a 15-minute intermission. Simple concessions of candy bars and bottled water are offered in the lobby. His and her restrooms are available. Customers cannot use flash cameras during a performance or video any aspect.  

Warren Arts strives to keep operating costs low through recycling or repurposing all set materials, have materials donated, negotiating all purchases, etc.  

Another highlight of Warren Arts and the new Morrison facility is very ample parking and location safety. Ease of access is a plus.  

Warren Arts brings high-quality entertainment at a very affordable cost. Warren County is blessed to have these dedicated volunteers committed to the theatre and the arts. It is time to order your season tickets. Please consider supporting Warren Arts.