published Friday, December 13th, 2013

South Jackson Civic Center theater's new set piece revolves around 'Amahl'


What: "Amahl and the Night Visitors."

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, (all times Central).

Where: South Jackson Civic Center, 404 S. Jackson St., Tullahoma, Tenn.

Admission: $10.

Phone: 931-455-5321.


A new set piece that debuted with the latest production is expected to revolutionize future shows at the South Jackson Civic Center in Tullahoma, Tenn.

For "Amahl and the Night Visitors," an operetta by Gian Carlo Menotti, the crew has crafted an 18-foot revolving stage section, considered one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in use in theater today.

"This great piece of machinery allows the Civic Center to advance its stage productions into another area of expertise," says spokeswoman Coleen Saunders in a news release.

Known as a "revolve," the circular section of the floor is fitted with large casters, allowing it to rotate in opposite directions so scenery and actors may be brought in and out of view. It's also capable of a treadmill effect, in which actors appear to walk while remaining at the same point on the stage.

Revolves have been used most notably in Broadway performances of "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Les Miserables," Saunders says.

"This piece of equipment will be an extraordinary asset for the Civic Center in this and future productions," says Lance Baxter, one of the builders along with Spencer Baxter and Sean Fuller. "We will become more versatile in our scene changes."

As director Rob Allen explains, the equipment will enable the company "to make scene changes without using a blackout, thus having a much smoother production for the cast and the audience alike."

Final performances of "Amahl and the Night Visitors" are this weekend. The story follows a disabled boy whose penchant for tall tales creates some skepticism from his mother when he tells her there is an amazing star over their roof. Then three kings arrive, asking to rest at the house before they continue their journey to give gifts to a wondrous child.

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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