The EmilyAnn Theatre is a unique and creative outdoor venue located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country in Wimberley. The theatre is a host to many events and fundraisers throughout the year and provides a great learning environment for children and teens interested in performing arts.
The EmilyAnn is a non-profit, volunteer organization that was founded in 1998 as a home for Wimberley High School’s annual “Shakespeare Under the Stars” event, which begins performances on July 28 and runs for two weeks.
“Shakespeare Under The Stars” provides students with the opportunity to learn all aspects of theatre from set design, lighting, and costuming to performance.
“The kids do everything around here, including making their own costumes and building the sets,” owner and executive director, Ann Rolling, said.
Only students up to the high school level participate in the event, with no age minimum. The EmilyAnn’s “Shakespeare Under the Stars” program is the only accredited high school Shakespeare program in the state of Texas.
In addition to the Shakespeare program, the EmilyAnn also hosts many other events throughout the year. On the third Sunday in April, the EmilyAnn has a “Butterfly Day,” where people from all over gather together to release butterflies in memory of their lost loved ones. During the Holidays, the theatre transforms into a trail of lights that brings many visitors each year.
“We had nearly 17,000 people out here last year for the trail of lights,” Rolling said. “It’s just beautiful during that time.”
Many one-of-a-kind projects are found within this enchanting 6-acre theatre, such as a stage built by Eagle Scouts, a castle dedicated to a young boy who died of leukemia, and a Veteran Plaza, which displays stones dedicated to local veterans of war that surround a flagpole from the Hays County Courthouse. The plaza sits atop the tallest hill in Wimberley.
Ann Rolling created the EmilyAnn theatre along with her husband, Norm, to celebrate the memory of their daughter, Emily Ann, who was very active in the theatre program at Wimberley High School. Emily lost her life in a fatal car accident in 1996.
The Rolling family, along with volunteers from all around Texas, work hard to make the EmilyAnn a beautiful artistic venue that will entertain children and adults alike.
“This theatre was built with a lot of help from local volunteers,” Rolling said. “We have 6 acres and we are planning on expanding onto six more.”
The EmilyAnn Theatre invites people of all ages to join them in celebrating their 10th anniversary this year by enjoying one of their many upcoming performances.
For more information and a full schedule of events, please visit www.emilyann.org
By LINDSEY SCHROEDER