The arts are alive in Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee, and no place makes that more evident than the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre. Nestled on Main Street in the historic district, the theatre performs a year-round schedule of shows that entertain theatre enthusiasts of all ages. If you like drama, comedy, music, or dance, there is a play for you to enjoy. Their mission statement is: We believe that theatre is an opportunity to bring people together and to make their lives better. We strive to create quality community theatre that uplifts, inspires, and lightens the lives of the families in our audiences, as well as those of our own theatre family behind the scenes. We are committed to creating a nurturing environment for seasoned and developing artists. The plays and musicals we perform, classes and workshops we teach, and special events we host are dedicated to enriching the lives of our East Tennessee community, and beyond. The JRT is also a community service organization offering many opportunities to local groups and individuals. There are numerous ways to utilize the JRT’s services and to be involved with the theatre.
JRT Educational Programs
There are a variety of theatre related educational programs for youth and adults through the JRT and Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts. Youth drama classes and musical theatre classes culminate with productions for the community. There are also classes for adult drama, tap dance, vocals and others.
For other arts-related programs in Jonesborough, please visit the McKinney Center: Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts at mckinneycenter.com.
Main Stage Productions
The JRT produces 8 main stage performances a year. There are many ways for the community to be involved as theatre volunteers or patrons. Each production needs actors, technical help, set builders, costume builders, and the musicals need instrumentalists. Keep an eye on the JRT website and social media for information about auditions, show dates, and how you can be involved.
If you want to sit back and enjoy a show, the JRT is committed to give its patrons a positive theatre-going experience. You may want to consider being a season pass holder and utilize its many benefits. Or you can bring a group of 15 or more at a discounted rate. What a wonderful way to enjoy an evening in Historic Jonesborough.
Enchanted Experiences by JRT
Enchanted Experiences by JRT strives to provide high quality party entertainment, while bringing positive messages to the children of the Tri-Cities. Our trained actors are equipped with character themed games, songs, and crafts to make your child’s special day magical. In addition to live event entertainment, we also offer personalized videos, FaceTime calls, and even Royal Mail. For more information, please visit our social media pages or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friends of the JRT
This group of volunteers meets monthly to discuss ways of improving various aspects of the theatre. Members volunteer for committees in the areas for which they feel most connected, including the Decorating, Fundraising, Hospitality and Costume Committees. These are just a few areas already working to make JRT the best it can be to serve our community.
JRT Players and Singers
The JRT Players and Singers are available to provide entertainment to their community. The Players is a traveling troupe of singers and actors who perform for special events, schools, and civic-minded organizations. The Singers provide musical entertainment to centers, hospitals, nursing homes, etc. Information on how to be involved or book these groups is on our website.
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Board of Directors is an independent governing board that through a partnership agreement with the Town oversees the theatre operation with the support of Town staff. There are ten (10) members on the JRT Board of Directors, five who are appointed by the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen, and five who are appointed by the full JRT Board itself. Members are appointed to three (3) year terms.
The JRT Board provides on-going oversight of the Theatre operation including establishing operating polices, approving plays and schedules, and providing on-going financial oversight. The JRT Board determines tickets prices, instructor and technical staff compensation, as well as the compensation of part-time staff paid by directly through the JRT Fund.
Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Artistic Director
The JRT Artistic Director is a contractual employee of the Town. The Artistic Director is provided a base salary and is paid a percentage of the net-profits from the JRT Main Stage productions. The Artistic Director is a full-time employee responsible for providing direction for all plays, all JRT programs and activities, and providing staff support and leadership for JRT Committees.
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Board of Directors hires additional JRT staff and compensate them through the separate JRT Fund. Five (5) additional part-time positions have been authorized by the JRT Board. The five part-time positions are directly responsible to the JRT Artistic Director and the JRT Board. The positions are compensated through production revenues.
Responsible for the overall condition of the theatre facility and the technical equipment – including sound and lighting – necessary to undertake quality productions and to operate in the building.
Box Office Manager
Oversees ticket sales and concessions. The JRT sells tickets through a ticketing software program managed by the Town. The Box Office Manager oversees theatre ticket sales and the operation of the Stage Door facility, which is immediately adjacent to the Theatre and houses the box office and concession sales. The Stage Door is also used for rehearsals, storybook parties, and reception rentals, all scheduled by the Box Office Manager.
The JRT pays a part-time person to handle the development and implementation of publicity plans for each JRT production. The Publicity Coordinator is responsible for posters, print media, interviews on TV and radio, and all social media.
The JRT Assistant assists the artistic director and other staff members in all JRT programming.
The Education Director oversees all of the education classes including Musical Theatre, Tap, Introduction to Theatre, Light Design, Theatre Basics, and Voice using the Alexander Technique. In addition, the Education Director oversees the JRT Players. For information about education classes, click HERE.
Programs and Activities
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre has a comprehensive program that includes:
- At least eight (8) main stage productions each year
- An education program for adults and children including musical theatre, tap, introduction to theatre, light design, sound design and voice.
- JRT Players – a program that takes quality productions into schools, senior centers, assisted living centers, veteran’s hospital, etc.
- JRT Singers, providing musical entertainment to centers, veteran’s hospital, Valentine Singing Grams
- Enchanted Experiences by JRT – parties for children with princesses and storybook characters
Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Board Officers and Organizational Structure
The JRT Board elects officers from the ten (10) person membership.
Current JRT Board Officers and staff are:
|Madelyn Culbertson||Box Office Manager|
|Lucas Schmidt||House Manager|
|Pam Johnson||Publicity Coordinator|
|Janette Gaines||Secretary/Education Director|
|Cindy Bubar||JRT Assistant|
|Jennifer Ross Bernhart||Artistic Director|
The current organizational structure of the JRT Board is as follows:
|Kelly Wolfe||BMA appointed|
|Darrell Fowler||BMA appointed|
|Hal Knight||BMA appointed|
|Terry Countermine||BMA appointed|
|Joshua Baldwin||BMA appointed|
|Janette Gaines||JRT appointed|
|Krista Wharton||JRT appointed|
|Joe Carr||JRT appointed|
|Sharon Squibb||JRT appointed|
|Christina Morgan||JRT appointed|
|Jennifer Ross Bernhart||Artistic Director – Staff|
Board members are appointed for three (3) year terms, and they continue to serve until they are re-appointed or replaced.
In addition to the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre Board of Directors, the Theatre operates with the following committees:
- Play Finding Committee – Group of individuals with extensive theatre backgrounds that work with the Artistic Director to develop a schedule of main stage productions a year in advance of the performance season.
- Friends of the JRT– A large support group that helps with First Night Galas, box office and concession operations, costume labeling and storage, and numerous other support activities
The Jonesborough Board of Directors meets every other month. Meetings are typically at 5:30 pm, but times and dates may vary based on rehearsal schedules. Meetings are usually held at the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center and are open to the public.
The Meeting schedule for the JRT Board of Directors can be found HERE.
More information about the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre can be found HERE.
All revenues and expenses related to the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre operation are accounted for by the Town Recorder’s office. Detailed financial reports are reviewed monthly by the JRT Board of Directors and are provided to the Town Board in its monthly Finance Report. This financial operation of the JRT is reviewed along with the entire Town’s financial record keeping operation by the Blackburn, Childers and Steagall: the firm auditing the Town each year.
Volunteers – Friends of the JRT
The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre is a non-profit community theater and all cast members volunteer a tremendous number of hours in rehearsal to provide quality performances to the Jonesborough community. The need for volunteer assistance in many other areas is substantial including concession sales, ushers, set building, sound and lighting technicians, costume management, donation and sponsorship solicitation, advertisement sales, etc. Volunteers are greatly needed and appreciated. The Friends of JRT meet once a month. Individuals wanting to assist the JRT are encouraged to contact the JRT Artistic Director at 423.791.4440 or the Box Office Manager.