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Winder-Barrow group holds first play in new theater

WINDER - The Winder-Barrow Community Theatre's first play at its new theater drew record crowds. The local acting group is hoping for more of the same with its new production, which opened this weekend.

The Winder-Barrow Community Theatre will be performing Agatha Christie's murder mystery "And Then There Were None" through Nov. 4 at the Colleen O. Williams Theater in Winder.

The group's first performance at the new theater in August was titled "Plaza Suite" and saw more than 668 people in attendance. That's 150 more people than had ever attended any other play by the Winder-Barrow Community Theatre, said Pam Veader, president of the acting group.

Veader said the performance drew not only people from Barrow County, but also residents of Clarke, Jackson and Gwinnett counties.

"Our audience members come from all around this area," Veader said.

The Winder-Barrow Community Theatre was without a true home in its first six years of existence. Veader said the group had previously performed in the recreation department's gymnasium and had to haul props and sets continuously.

Now the group has a place to call its own: the 207-seat Colleen O. Williams Theatre.

"It's nice to have a place to do real theater and not have to haul stuff," Veader said.

The theater is located on the top floor of a newly renovated historical building constructed in the late 1890s.

The theater is named for Colleen Ouzts Williams, a former teacher who started the first drama program and Thespian Society at Winder High School. Williams passed away last spring from cancer.