By Ann Leach
You can’t think of February as the month focused on love without talking about Stained Glass Theatre Joplin’s family of actors and crew who love Jesus through theater together.
Longtime member and current board of directors member Amanda Klein said she loves the family feel she receives when she volunteers her time and talents to the group.
“I have always had a family there that I knew I could count on to have my best at heart,” she said. “We walk through life together in so many ways, praying with and for each other, cheering each other on and carrying the heavy things together. We genuinely care about each other.”
And they’ve been doing so for over 20 years, despite some difficult downtimes like losing their building and a few theater members to the May 2011 tornado.
Klein said, “We know they are sitting with Jesus and cheering us on. We learned through that experience that our theater is not confined to a place, and we never once doubted God has a plan for us.”
The group functioned as a traveling theater for several years after the tornado while raising money for their next home that they found at 2101 Annie Baxter Avenue. The building has served them well but even now Klein and the team are seeking their next right place to expand and manage the growth they are seeing.
Coping with COVID-19 has given the theater board of directors the same plan they utilized in their tornado recovery: lean in, pray and trust that God is in charge.
“We listened to the needs of the community and when we reopened, we did so at half capacity,” Klein said. “We made sure people could be socially distanced if they wanted it. We upped our cleaning measures and made tickets available online ahead of time. We have bounced back and looking ahead to having a new building.”
As 2022 progresses, the theater board will be searching for that next right home and the funds to support having it. Klein said they are looking for a place that is larger, wheelchair accessible, in a good location and with plenty of parking. Klein holds the vision of celebrating knowing that all funds are raised for the facility plus the first year of utilities by the end of 2022. “It seems like a really big ask when we’re talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars,” she said. “But nothing is too big for God. We believe that in Him, all things are possible.”
For now, the theater company is content to continue serving the community at their home on Annie Baxter Avenue. They welcome new members and volunteers.
“The best way to get involved as an actor or crew member is to come to an audition,” Klein said. “Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and get on our email list through our website. And, if you’re interested in making a financial donation, please do so on our Patreon site where you can receive perks like tickets, concessions and merchandise. Every donation is a huge blessing.”
Stained Glass Theatre Joplin
2101 Annie Baxter Ave., Joplin
For more information, email [email protected]
Social media pages include Facebook and Instagram
Sarah Plain and Tall
Performances February 17-27
Junie B Jones the Musical
Auditions February 21-22
Performances April 28-May 8
Twelve Angry Men
Auditions May 2-3
Performances June 16-26
Show tickets are available via the website or at the door immediately prior to the performance.