Fade To Black : Sun Sets On Hamner Theater At RVCC : Search For New Location On

©™2005-2012 Nelson County Life : Photos By Tommy Stafford : Co-artistic director & Hamner Theater Founder Peter Coy in our July 2005 photo a few months before the Hamner Theater opened inside The Rockfish Valley Community Center. The theater will no longer hold performances at RVCC and are actively looking for a new location within 6 months.

Nelson County, VA

After a long and exciting run of performances, anchored often by The Homecoming, The Hamner Theater will no longer be located at The Rockfish Valley Community Center in Afton. NCL confirmed the rumors Monday morning, that had been swirling for at least the past couple of months.

“Illness this summer and personal crises prevented our development of a fall season. The board determined that a six month hiatus in operations be declared. Of course, the major consideration was facility rental. The RVCC was unable to forego rent during this period, particularly as they had prospective tenants for the space, so we determined it was financially necessary for us to vacate the premises,”

Hamner Theater Board Chariman Terry Sumey told NCL Monday afternoon.

The Hamner Theater was named after Earl Hamner, Jr, a native of Schuyler in Nelson County. Here Earl Hamner autographs a book for George & Mickey McKinney of Nellysford during a 2007 visit to the stage of the theater named after him.

“The Hamner is very much alive. Last night we concluded a winery tour where Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream was performed out of doors in exquisitely beautiful vineyard settings at Mountain Cove, Del Fosse, Cardinal Point, Pollak and Glass House. Another such tour is planned for next spring/summer. We are planning to produce Cyrano, Rostand’s play adapted by our playwright in residence and Hamner founder, Peter Coy,”

Terry continued. In a followup phone conversation he told us that Peter Coy had been out most of the summer with an illness but is now doing very well and looking forward to a 2013 season.

The original cast and crew of The 1st Homecoming performance held at The Hamner Theater back in December 2005.

“For the six month period of hiatus, the board will search for a theater location as well as study several other alternative approaches. The funding of a theater relies on donors to contribute about half of the operational costs with ticket revenue covering the other half. During the past several years of recession, grant money and major donor giving has dwindled. The board will be focusing on developing a reliable stream of income to fill this gap,”

Terry adds.

“After eight years of bringing theater that enlightens, educates, and entertains to Nelson Co, and environs, we have no intention to close.”


  1. I’m thinking the old Opry House in Lovingston or the Oak Ridge Carriage House would be great location for the Hamner Theater. The Carriage House has a commerical kitchen and would serve as a lovely dinner theater. Best of luck!


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