EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Half-a-century of history in Evansville will soon be coming to a close. Civic Theatre officials announced their next season will be their last in the current building.

Managing Artistic Director Kevin Roach says the decision feels bittersweet, but times change. Roach tells us that the Evansville Civic Theatre plans to move back to their first official home — the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

“The old Columbia Theatre holds nearly a half century of memories – of great shows, of impassioned performances … of shared experiences and the lifelong friendships built through them,” said Managing Artistic Director Kevin Roach. “Leaving that behind is bittersweet – but times change, and the time has come for Evansville Civic Theatre to move on to a bigger, brighter future … back where we started.”

Theatre officials say they will be working alongside numerous local organizations to renovate the Coliseum. Once it’s complete, it will be the new and improved home for the the Civic Theatre offices and their productions. This wasn’t the only major announcement the theatre made today.

The Civic Theatre will also be working with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation to bring live shows to the Bosse High School stage. Bosse will act as a temporary home for Civic Theatre until renovations at the Coliseum are complete. Their partnership with the EVSC will give students the opportunity to join in on theatre education, production and performance opportunities.

The Civic Theatre also announced their upcoming shows for their final season in the Fulton Avenue building. Theatre officials say they’re opening the 97th season with Tick Tick Boom, an autobiographical musical by Pulitzer Prize winning Jonathan Larson. They say it follows the story of a composer and the sacrifices he made to achieve his big break in theatre.

In October, the theatre will present Fairview. Officials describe the play as a searing fourth wall-demolishing play about the examination of families, drama, and the underlying racism that still exists in our modern culture.

Two months later in December, the theatre says they will break from their traditional Christmas show to present the popular comedic drama Steel Magnolias. Set in Truvy’s beauty salon in Louisiana, and set around a group of gossipy southern ladies, organizers say this play will make you laugh and cry as the characters learn about the true bonds of friendship when confronted with difficult life events.

For the annual Nextwave production in January, officials say they will preview their temporary home at Bosse High School with the comedic drama She Kills Monsters. Officials say the play tells the story of young woman who discovers more about her late sister, following her tragic death, after finding her Dungeons & Dragons notebook, and begins a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge. 

April will bring a classic to the season — Fahrenheit 451. It tells the story of a fireman who works as a civil servant burning books, who must choose between continuing his nonexistent existence or risking everything for the right to think.

Finally, the season – and the theatre’s tenure at the Old Columbia Theatre – concludes in May with Big Fish. The musical follows Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose larger-than-life stories are called into question by his son, Will, creating a magical musical theatre experience that’s richer, funnier and bigger than life itself.

Season Tickets and show information are available at evvcivic.org.