History

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BEGINNINGS

The West Jordan Performing Arts Board was established in 1995, and the name was changed to the West Jordan Theater Arts Board in 2002.

Our first performance was Ruth Hale’s Dude Ranch in the summer of 1995, and it was held in a picnic pavilion in the West Jordan Main Park. For the next eight years we did a show in the park every summer. Only twice during that time were we able to find an indoor venue to perform winter shows.

the Sugar Factory PlayhouseIn 2004 we were given access to a portion of the old West Jordan sugar factory that had previously been used as a shop, a boxing workout room, and a truck storage garage. When we started rehearsing for Footloose, we literally rehearsed around a street sweeper vehicle that was parked in the middle of where the stage and front seats were to be when we performed.

GOODBYE TO THE SUGAR FACTORY

the sugar factory demolished

In 2010 the City of West Jordan deemed the building unsafe. In March of 2010, three days before the scheduled opening of See How They Run, the Theater Arts organization was notified that the show couldn’t be held in the sugar factory building. Thanks to the generosity of Midvale City and Midvale Arts Council, the show was moved to the Midvale Performing Arts Center and opened on time. The 45-foot set had been dismantled, modified, and rebuilt on a 25-foot stage in literally two days thanks to numerous community volunteers.

Members of the community work to convert the old West Jordan library into a temporary theater.However, West Jordan Theater Arts was once again without a permanent home. Over the subsequent years we found temporary performance space in several locations, such as West Jordan High School and Copper Hills High School, West Jordan City Hall, Viridian Events Center, West Jordan Rodeo Arena, Pioneer Hall, and the Midvale Performing Arts Center. Then in 2015 we were given permission to use the old West Jordan library at 1970 West 7800 South for limited storage, rehearsals, and “small performances” until the city could build a new, dedicated arts facility. Once again the community gave their time and effort, this time to help us convert the old library into a makeshift theater. Simultaneously we were rehearsing for The 39 Steps and building the stage and set for that show. However, shortly after The 39 Steps closed, we were informed that the building did not meet fire code requirements for the number of people that would occupy the building during performances, and therefore the building could only be used for limited storage and rehearsals. So we found ourselves once again looking for a permanent home.

LOOKING FORWARD

Although West Jordan Theater Arts has been transient for most of its existence, we remain committed to providing excellent theater performances for the community from whatever venue we can requisition. But the history of West Jordan Theater Arts is far more than a story of trying to find somewhere to perform. The true history of West Jordan Theater Arts is the story of thousands of individuals sacrificing for the arts in their community regardless of setbacks and difficulties. We are extremely grateful for the many, many residents of West Jordan and its surrounding communities for the time and love that they continue to give us. Quite literally, we could not do this without you.

groundbreaking for new cultural arts centerUPDATE: In November 2017 the City of West Jordan broke ground for a dedicated cultural arts facility to act as a permanent home for Sugar Factory Playhouse and other arts organizations. Construction is expected to be completed in spring 2019.

UPDATE: West Jordan City Council informed the now-dissolved West Jordan Arts Council in July 2018 that they were reevaluating plans for the cultural arts center.

See a full list of our productions here.