About the Celebration Company
The Celebration Company, a non-profit organization, relies on volunteer talent in all aspects of theatre. The Company provides a training ground for the actor's individual growth and experience, while exposing the audience to live theatre for its evaluation, appreciation, entertainment and education.
The Celebration Company not only demonstrates its excellence in productions, but also works on renovation of the building into a creative performing space as well as a historical landmark within the community.
Several alumni of The Celebration Company are now appearing in or holding jobs in professional theatre; the Company itself has toured the state with several productions with the assistance of the Illinois Arts Council and our local patrons. The Company also has to its credit several Midwest premieres and original works.
Auditions for the summer Company are held in the spring. The fall- spring season is cast on a show-by-show basis; thus any interested person can become involved in local theatre. The fall-spring season boasts four major productions with several showcase productions filling out the bill.
The Celebration Company welcomes volunteers who are interested in working with any aspect of productions. No experience is necessary. If you are interested in being a part of The Company, please ask at the box office for details.
About the Station Theatre Building
The Station was built in 1923 as a passenger station for the Big Four Railroad. It was the third station built for the line in Urbana, and the second one built on the site. Travellers boarding at Urbana could ride as far as Indianapolis to the east, and as far as Pekin to the west. Arriving passengers could transfer to the Wabash Railroad, which passed the building on the south side.
Although there is little left to show it, in the early part of this century the Big Four was one of Urbana's major industries, employing over four hundred people at its peak. On the land east of the theatre were a switching yard, a large roundhouse capable of servicing fifteen locomotives simultaneously, and a dozen or so machine shops to support it all. The energy needed to run the complex of shops required a huge power plant with a smokestack 133 & 1/2 feet fall. This smokestack dominated the skyline of Urbana until it was felled in 1959.
The advent of multilane, highspeed highways in the fifties hastened the decline of passenger rail service. The Urbana passenger station was closed in 1956, the same year work began on Interstate 74. The last passenger train stopped here on October 14, 1957.
The Celebration Company maintains ownership of the building and over the years has added to the landscape to provide an attractive historical site.
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