Art And Theater Are Alive At The Chenango Arts Council
Published: February 28th, 2023
By: Kelli Miller

Art and theater are alive at the Chenango Arts Council Administrator Mary Beth Miller, loyal companion and Executive Director Alecia ONeill, on stage in The Kappel Theater. (Photo by Kelli Miller)

NORWICH — The Chenango Arts Council (CAC), located at 27 West Main Street in Norwich, supports the growth and development of local arts through grants to artists and organizations.

The Norwich Theater Company, Inc. will be presenting “Steel Magnolias” in the Kappel Theater at the Chenango Arts Council in late March.

Director Brad Morrison said, “Steel Magnolias has a special place in my heart because of my mom. The story is a story of women and their trials and tribulations in a small town. I was raised by strong women in a small town. In the show, the women make their way over hurdles and find comfort in each other. It’s important to share women’s stories and their experiences.”

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Morrison added, “This show is not only hysterical, it has side-splitting but heartfelt moments. Laughter through tears is one of my favorite emotions. The show has a sense of joy through heartbreak.”

“Tickets are on sale now. Dates of show are March 24 and 25 at 7 p.m. March 26 at 2 p.m.

I would love to have a big turn out.” He said.

Executive Director Alecia ONeill said, “DRI grant funding, known as the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, will be utilized to upgrade the theater sound, lighting, seats, paint for the stage, and wi-fi. Also, a camera will be mounted on the balcony for live streaming. It’s great to be back to normal after COVID and have live performances in the theater.”

Throughout the year, the CAC hosts art workshops with professionally disciplined instructors from the area or artist-members of CAC.

ONeill said, “We make sure artists receive exposure and professional developmental support.”

She said they are very proud of their tradition of bringing entertainment to the community and even during COVID, they provided virtual presentations and opportunities.

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CAC Administrator Mary Beth Miller handles marketing, events, public outreach, and more.

The Martin Kappel Theater is on the first floor, across from the CAC office, and seats 506 people. It started its life as a high school auditorium around 1900 and was renovated in 1996, thanks to community effort.

The theater, originally known as the Community Cultural Center Theater, was renamed in memory of Martin W. Kappel in the spring of 2006. Martin wore many hats: He was the technical director of the theater for six years, a professional actor and clown, directed productions, designed lighting, ran sound, and taught classes in stage combat.

The Kappel theater is operated by the Chenango Arts Council and is also available for rent for meetings, weddings, church services, performances, and more.

Contact Alecia ONeill at for more information.