Greenville Theatre Announces New Name
After over a year of surveys and community interviews, Greenville Little Theatre Board of Directors has voted unanimously to change its name to Greenville Theatre effective immediately. Greenville Theatre will transition for the remainder of the 2018-2019 season with full rebranding completed for the 2019-2020 season opening.
This modification in name is a response to the high volume of people confusing the theatre with a children's theatre (or a small theatre), and potentially missing tourists or newcomers who have not been exposed to the theatre's rich 93 year history.
"The name Greenville Theatre reflects not only our growth, but also the growth of the Upstate's arts scene as a whole." said Emily Dymski, Greenville Theatre Director of Marketing and Development. Adding, "It was important for us to maintain the brand equity we've built as the largest locally producing theatre in the Upstate, but have a name better reflective of what we offer."
The Board of Director's strategic planning committee, tasked with developing a long-range plan in preparation for the theatre's 100th birthday in 2026, was led by co-chairs Mary Freeman, Steve Chamness, and Greenville Theatre Executive Artistic Director Allen McCalla. Committee members included Mark Blonstein, Catherine Christophillis, Lee Elmore, Tracy Hardaway, Leslie Provence, Carl Sykes, and Sydney Taylor. This special committee launched a year long effort to research what the community's response would be to a name modification.
"We were able to interview a wide representation of the community from people who know us very well, to those not as familiar with our theatre" said McCalla. "Overwhelmingly, we heard that the word 'little' is confusing and does not accurately represent who we are."
A written audience survey was conducted in December 2017, producing approximately 1500 responses. 94% of the surveys voted to change the name, and of those 37% voted to change it to Greenville Theatre.
"It's important to our community that we not 'outgrow' ourselves, but overwhelmingly we heard that this modification from Greenville Little Theatre to Greenville Theatre would be a positive change" said McCalla.
Freeman and McCalla presented the special committee's findings to the theatre's Board of Directors and the unanimous vote was held on October 23, 2018.