The Matheson will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hippodrome Theatre on March 30

Press release from the Matheson History Museum

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In partnership with the Hippodrome Theatre, we are excited to welcome Nell Page Rainsberger (Actor and Development Consultant) and Robert Robins (Production Manager/Lighting Designer) – two of the Hipp’s longest-serving employees – on March 30 as they share the history of the theater.

From its inception in 1973, the Hippodrome Theatre has brought stories to the stage that explore and celebrate the human condition. 50 years ago, six determined individuals, (Marilyn Wall, Bruce Cornwell, Greg Von Hausch, Kerry (McKinney) Oliver-Smith, Mary Hausch, Owen Wechsberg) took a leap into the unknown, creating a theater that challenged expectations.

Throughout its history, The Hippodrome has pushed the limits of storytelling, creating memorable productions like Equus, The Elephant Man, Amadeus, The Royal, and The Mountaintop. The Hippodrome Improvisational Teen Theatre (HITT), Open Stages, and TYA (Theater for Young Audiences) brought innovative works beyond the walls of the theater and into the Gainesville schools and community, proving that theater is an important tool that can be used to explore deep issues, educate, and spark discussion. Today The Hippodrome Theatre is Gainesville’s Downtown Art House, with theatre, educational programs, a cinema, an art gallery, and events for all ages.

Free Registration – https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-hippodrome-theater-is-celebrating-its- 50th-anniversary-tickets-566565571877

Zoom Registration – https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_k4UlnkeDTdGe4Khz_RJbHA

Nell Page Rainsberger

Nell’s first foray with the Hippodrome was in the 1974 production of Marat Sade. Forty-nine years ago, and over 70 productions later, Nell is still acting at the Hippodrome, with her history placing her at all three locations. She was last seen on the Hippodrome mainstage as Clara in Miracle on South Division Street. Her past favorite productions include: Ripcord, Vanya Sonia Marsha and Spike, Good People, Sirens, Smell of the Kill, As Bees in Honey Drown, Dinner With Friends, Life X Three, Sylvia, To Kill a Mockingbird, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Steel Magnolias, Suddenly Last Summer, A Christmas Carol, Vanities, and The Pursuit of Happiness. Nell appeared off-Broadway at New World Stages for E.P. Productions in Elvis People and is the co-author of Coquina, a play that opened in New York City at the Harold Clurman Theatre.

Nell has been a member of the Actors’ Equity Association for over 36 years and a proud member of the Hippodrome Acting Company. When Nell is not acting, she helps people buy and sell homes as a Realtor for Campus to Coast Realty.

Robert Robins

Bob is enjoying his 39th season here at the Hippodrome, where he has designed lighting for over 700 Hippodrome productions and events. He has worn many Hipp hats throughout the decades: Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Facility Manager, IT Manager, AEA Stage Manager, TYA Tour Stage Manager, Safety Officer, Intern Recruiter, Light Board Operator, Sound Mixer, Mainstage State Tour Technical Director, and Bartender, just to name a few. Bob also continues to provide lighting designs throughout the country, working with clients that include architects, theatres, dance companies, industrial events, schools, colleges and universities, municipalities, various types of small and large companies, and homeowners. He proudly holds a BFA in Theatre Production from the University of Florida.

This event is sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville/Alachua County, FL and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of the Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida.