It’s taken a long time, but Carol Rezzelle is seeing her overall dream finally come to pass.
“I started 22 years ago,” said Rezzelle who founded the Enopion Theatre Co., a Bible-based theater group.
On Jan. 17, some of the trees on a 10-acre site on Flowing Wells Road started to come down as developers began preparing the site for a 156-seat theater called Flowing Wells Theatre. Enopion is the name of the theatrical company that will call the space home.
Rezzelle’s vision started with one play – a one woman show she wrote called “I, Mary.”
She toured area churches with the show, but Rezzelle has always known there was more. She also knew she always wanted her own dedicated location, but she didn’t know it would take 22 years to get there.
For almost two decades, the theater company lived a nomadic existence, and along the way, Rezzelle said she learned the finer points of writing and directing plays as well as stage operations and theater management.
In Enopion’s existence, the theater troupe has performed at the theater inside the former Fort Discovery space, the Imperial Theatre, the Jabez Sanford Hardin Performing Arts Center, the Kroc Center and other places she could set up a stage.
The past few years the group has stage its productions at a space on Commercial Court near the Martinez post office. For many of the years, Rezzelle has poured her and her husband’s own money into the company to enable its success.
The company has produced 20 main plays. Some of the plays are directly related to Biblical accounts while other shows are based on Christian principles. Rezzelle has also created children’s versions of productions and new children’s shows for her children’s theater students to perform.
“There’s VBS and Sunday school material out there,” but there are not the types of material she’s looking for to put on with her child actors.
The building project will cost about $2 million, which includes the land that was purchased in 2018. That land has already been paid off. Rezzelle has been saving money for years toward that dream theater.
Enopion has used the Flowing Wells’ site for a couple of outdoor productions, and some smaller out-buildings have already been construction on the site — among them are a dressing room for the actors and a concessions area. There’s also a pine straw stage and a puppet stage.
During the interim, Rezzelle has been working to raise funds including writing letters to potential donors. One letter found its way to an out-of-state couple known as “Chip and Tootsie,” who pledged to donate up to $50,000 in matching funds for a giving campaign.
When the campaign came in at $60,100, the couple matched the overage too, she said.
Chip and Tootsie even visited the site in December, Rezzelle said. They met the actors and attended the theater’s Christmas production.
Clifton Construction Co. will be in charge of construction. Rezzelle said they’re waiting on some final approvals from the county and hopes construction will be underway soon.
“We’re known for our dinner shows especially ‘Eli’s Bethlehem Inn,’” she said. “We’re hoping to do that one as our first one.”
Once the theater is open, shows will be staged year-round, and children’s acting classes will continue. The building will have a warming kitchen so it would be a great place for weddings or other rentals, she said.
Rezzelle said she excited to see how far the dream has come and believes God’s hand has been with her along the way.
“Everything has been in His timing,” she said. “Ten years ago, I wasn’t ready.”
To learn more about Enopion and the Flowing Wells Theatre, visit enopion.com.