CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Adam Bryan, 30, is the community and economic development coordinator for the city of St. Albans. His other, arguably more entertaining, hat is worn as the director and manager of the Alban Arts and Conference Center.
Bryan's mission is to let people know there is more to the Alban than just half a dozen community theater plays a year. He and his staff are committed to being an active part of the growth of St. Albans, specifically, and the theater community of West Virginia, in general.
"Olde Main is a booming place again. I think the Alban helped spearhead that revitalization," Bryan said of all the exciting things happening inside and around the remodeled old movie house.
In addition to six theatrical productions a year (two of which are family oriented and usually include a large cast of children), the Alban partners with other theater troupes to bring in visiting shows or to create co-productions.
Last year, it partnered with the Limelight Theater of Dunbar for a presentation of "Greater Tuna." This year, Bryan said, the Alban looks forward to some collaborating with the Children's Theatre of Charleston and Ashland Children's Theatre.
Much of the Alban's educational focus revolves around the children in the community and preparing the next generation to take over the theatrical world.
"The Alban Arts Academy has been going on since 2009," Bryan said. "We started with probably eight to 12 students; we now have over 80. We offered 12 classes this semester. We have kids coming in from 35 different schools."
The academy lasts 12 weeks. The cost of a class is $200, but there are scholarships available to offset the cost for families who might need help. The Alban is a nonprofit organization and the tuition is used to pay the professional teaching staff, as well as to offset the cost of supplies.
There are myriad subjects offered relating to performance. Some of the classes are: Acting I, II and III; Stage Combat; Improvisation I and II; Audition Techniques; and Prop Making and Directing. A full course list can be found at albanartscenter.com.