The Limelight Theatre has been entertaining the First Coast community for over twenty years. Founded in 1992 by Anne Kraft and Jena Rahner, the St. Augustine-based theatre staged its first production, I Ought to be in Pictures at the Monson Bayfront Inn. Recently we talked to its current Executive Director, Beth Lambert, to see how the organization has grown since that first show.
What is your role as Executive Director?
Beth: Depends on what day and what time you ask me. We all wear so many hats here. My biggest responsibilities are choosing the season and problem-solving, but I also act, direct, decorate the sets, help with costumes/props, read plays, and read periodicals. I also answer lots and lots of emails.
Tell me about the staff and volunteers.
Beth: I have the most amazing staff and hoards of volunteers. They all make my job look easy. Most people don’t realize that the actors are all volunteers. More than 130 volunteers usher, bartend, take out the trash, make sandwiches and walk in parades. The Limelight has the best volunteers in town.
How does your theatre serve the community?
Beth: One of our most important goals in serving the community is by offering our KIDZ education programs. We are teaching kids to love, support and appreciate live theatre and therein creating future audiences. The St. Augustine community has been so supportive over the past 23 years. We are growing…and we have exciting plans for future expansion of the facilities and growth of our educational curriculum.
Do you draw the pool of your actors and technical crew mostly from the local area?
Beth: Our actors are mostly from St. Augustine and Jacksonville, sometimes Palm Coast and Daytona. Our technical crew is an extremely loyal bunch who have been around forever. We love our techies. Our Technical Director, Musical Director and several Show Directors drive many, many miles back and forth to Jax Beaches, North Jacksonville and Orlando, all for their dedication to a great show.
What is unique about the Limelight?
Beth: How well the local community supports us financially. Ticket sales only account for approximately 50 percent of our revenue. St. Augustine doesn’t really have large corporations to donate to the arts, and grants are very limited. We have some very loyal small foundation donors but survive almost solely on ticket sales and individual contributions. I can’t thank [those donors] enough.