Is Port City Theatre finally coming back? Building on experience and triumph over tragedy, Nancy Fox, director of the former Oswego-based theater company, is ready to launch a return to the footlights and anticipates a bright beginning.
Fox launched Port City Theatre in 2006, as the result of a vision she had carried for more than 20 years.
The theatre company opened in the West Baptist Church in Oswego.
Over the next 2 ½ years, audiences enjoyed productions that included The Guys, a play commemorating the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center towers; In His Steps, an adaptation of the Charles Sheldon novel of the same name; the popular musical Godspell; Anne Frank and Me; I Do! I Do!; The Orphan Train and John, His Story which gathered a popular following as the small ensemble cast toured to area churches.
From West Baptist Church to St. Mary’s Hopkins Hall to Elim Grace Christian Church, audiences embraced the fledgling theatre company.
In 2008, Fox suffered a devastating personal tragedy when her husband of 36 years passed away unexpectedly.
“Suddenly the rug was pulled out from under me and I didn’t know what to do next, where to turn. The members of the company were very supportive but every issue suddenly seemed larger than life and it has taken a long time to get my feet back under me,” she said.
Never very far from the passion of the original vision, Fox continued to hold to the hope that one day she could fulfill that dream.
Now Fox is once again reaching for the spotlight with new ideas and bold plans.
A new name and location are the first order of business with plans to launch an arts facility in Fulton.
“Fulton is where my husband grew up and is my home now. There are many wonderful people here and I believe Fulton will benefit economically and culturally from a healthy arts community,” she said. “With a background in arts administration and firsthand experience with Port City Theatre, as well as personal motivation for the new life I must now create for myself, I feel I have the passion and commitment to lead an initiative.”
With her eye on several properties that suit the needs of an arts facility, Fox seeks to establish a network of supporters and arts enthusiasts to form a nonprofit arts organization.
“There has been tremendous progress on the arts scene in Oswego over the last few years.” Fox continued. “The close proximity to Onondaga County makes Fulton a perfect ‘arts corridor’ leading to the wealth of arts and culture in Oswego. My intention is to stimulate an arts environment in Fulton that complements the fine work already being done by local artists throughout the county along with the Fulton Art Association and Fulton Community Theatre. I’m looking for a hardy team of positive citizens who believe in Fulton’s potential and want to join forces to achieve it.”
To do this, Fox is inviting interested parties to a community forum, an informational gathering, on April 14 at 6:30 p.m. at Fulton Alliance Church on Route 48 South.
Fox hopes to create a citizen’s arts guild and brainstorm ideas for organization, programming and fundraising.
“I’ve stewed about this long enough,” Fox continued. “I know there are others who feel strongly about this as well. It’s time to come together, start talking to each other and make it happen. Join me please or call with your ideas.”
Fox stresses this is not limited to Fultonians.
“This arts facility has the potential to impact the entire county. I invite everyone with a passion for the arts to come and be heard. We have only good things to gain for Fulton and all of Oswego County,” she said.
For more information, contact Fox at 598-8812.