Theatre at the Grange Moves to the Orpheum

Grace Allen
Renamed Roundabout Productions
Issue Date: 
May, 2018
Article Body: 

The community performance group Theatre at the Grange has moved to the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Foxboro and will now be known as Roundabout Productions.
According to Norfolk resident Lori Beck, founder of the theatrical group, the popularity of the recently-refurbished Grange Hall had made rehearsals difficult to schedule. The search for a new venue led her to the Orpheum, just six miles away.
The Orpheum location is quite the change for her group, said Beck, who started Theatre at the Grange in late 2016. The much larger venue has 400 seats and a permanent, viable performance space. In April, Roundabout Productions staged its first show at the Orpheum, Ken Ludwig’s Moon Over Buffalo.
Bob Hickey, the executive director of the Orpheum, welcomed the addition of Beck’s theatre troupe to his facility, which is home to area children’s programs but has lacked adult community theatre.
“We’re very excited to have them come into our theatre and bring the adult performing arts to our stage,” said Hickey. “They are not only a breath of fresh air, but they are professional, enthusiastic, and we cannot be happier about our partnership.”
In January, the Orpheum was rechristened as the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center, but it will always be known as the Orpheum, said Bob Hickey.
“We’re very proud of our new identity but we’ll always keep a little link to the past,” he acknowledged.
Hickey, a former Foxboro selectman, believes the Orpheum is key to Foxboro’s downtown revitalization. Built in 1926, the building has undergone many transformations over the years. It became a performing arts venue in the 1990s, and in September of 2017 was reborn under new management into a regional community arts center and non-profit. In addition to its performance stage, the multi-use facility includes spaces for fundraisers and corporate events, as well as civic and community groups.
The building is busy seven days a week, including free movies every Friday afternoon.
“Our vision has become a reality,” said Hickey. “The building has great bones. It just needs a little tender loving care. We have a high level of excitement about the future.”
Beck, who calls the new partnership with the Orpheum kismet, is pleased to have a larger home for her community theatre group. She believes live theatre provides great value to a community.
“It exposes people to art forms that they haven’t been exposed to. It’s great for kids that perform. It gives them self-confidence. And it’s great for adults. It gives them self-confidence too.”
Hickey agrees, adding that live theatre enriches a community artistically and financially.
“Community theatre is an experience that can’t be matched,” he said. “There’s nothing like seeing a production come together after months of hard work and then the joy and sadness of seeing a wonderful performance come to an end. It’s an experience I hope everyone comes out to enjoy.”
For more information about Roundabout Productions, including casting calls for upcoming shows, visit or follow them on Facebook. For more information about the Marilyn Rodman Performing Arts Center, visit