A New Look for the Nancy Byng Theater

ASPI Launches ‘Paint and Perform’ Fundraising Campaign

Volunteers have transformed the look of the Nancy Byng Community Theater from a quaint country church to a contemporary theater venue. Repainting the former church building was a momentous task, requiring a group of hardworking volunteers, 30 gallons of paint, a boom lift, and favorable weather. All of these elements came together in late June. As a result, the white building at 5852 Maple St., Abrams, turned a stunning midnight blue.

Home of the Nancy Byng Community Theater

The Nancy Byng Community Theater has been home to Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. since 2007. The former St. Louis Catholic Church was built in 1927 and has been fully renovated into a community theater venue. The white exterior siding was showing its age, so the nonprofit theater organization decided to repaint the entire building and replace the vinyl siding on the steeple.

A Long-Term Asset to the Community

Bill Koehne, President of the ASPI Board, said the transformation does more than just beautify the theater’s exterior.

“The new paint not only makes the theater look good and establishes our brand, it also lets people know this is a long-term asset to the community. The theater is not just somebody’s short-term hobby,” he said.

Volunteers Undertake Momentous Painting Project

The Church had been white with blue trim, but now those colors are reversed for a contemporary, nonchurch-like look. Volunteer David Jolly coordinated and supervised the painting project over multiple weeks.

“A project of this scope requires a lot of time and hard work, and we’re grateful for the volunteers who spent long days working in the heat to get the theater repainted,” Jolly said. “The theater looks great, and we’re excited to welcome people to this beautiful place to experience live entertainment.”

Paint Job Involves Multi-Step Process

Jolly and his volunteer crew strategically planned the painting project to avoid multiple rain storms. They completed the work in stages. First, volunteers removed the gutters and hardware from the theater. Next, they used long-handled brushes to scrub the exterior with a mix of vinegar and dish soap to break down the chalk residue of the old paint on the aluminum siding. After pressure washing the exterior, they covered and taped off the soffits, trim, a dozen windows, doors, and other parts of the building they didn’t want painted blue. This prep work took several days and several volunteers to complete.

Adam Surber, an ASPI parent volunteer, provided the painting equipment and 14 hours of labor to paint the building. Sherman Williams generously discounted the paint to about half-price.

Re-Siding Steeple & Painting the Trim

Once the painting was completed, volunteers removed the tape and plastic covering. Local contractor DLE Concrete and Remodeling came in to re-side the steeple area with midnight blue siding to match the rest of the exterior. The final step will be to scrape, sand, prime, and paint the trim. The white trim creates a bright contrast to the midnight blue exterior. Oftentimes, one project leads to another. The next theater improvement projects will involve landscaping, gutters, and foundation work.

‘Paint and Perform’ Fundraising Campaign

To help cover the costs of the repainting project, ASPI launched a “Paint and Perform” fundraising campaign. ASPI hopes to raise $10,000, and a generous donor who will match the first $1,000 that ASPI receives. Donors can give a financial gift by clicking the support tab.

“Ticket sales alone don’t cover the costs of operating a theater,” Koehne said. “That’s why we’re so thankful to people and businesses that support the arts and enable us to bring great performances to the stage.”