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Augusta, GA

The next stage: Augusta Mini Theatre looks to the future

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The next stage: Augusta Mini Theatre looks to the future


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – The Augusta Mini Theater has been producing, hosting performances and educating youths for almost 50 years.

The theater continues to serve as a space for youth to pursue education in the arts, no matter their financial status.

The drama school has been planning an expansion of a 250-seat theater since 2008.

It’s a concept more than 16 years in the making.

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Over the years, it’s had trouble getting the funds necessary to make that a reality.

The Augusta Commission poured SPLOST money into the theater and has given multiple extensions.

The scope of the project ultimately had to be cut down because the theater couldn’t raise enough funds to meet the deadline.

According to the commission’s Dec. 5 meeting, the scope of the project was reduced by 60%. Instead of 250 seats, the new theater will only have 100.

Nevertheless, it is still an accomplishment for the school to move to a more updated space with state-of-the-art equipment to continue to carry on its mission of not only teaching drama and theatrical classes, but life skills for the students to take with them for the rest of their lives.

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Tyrone Butler says his vision of what the mini theater is supposed to capture is about to come true.

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“I want to create something for people like me, people like me, who got the desire, got the talent,” said Butler.

The expansion will finally give his students a proper theater and space for the community to watch.

Butler says the same mentality of giving people an opportunity 50 years ago is being shown back.

“The community came together, really came together. And our alumni, they were amazing, you know, from all over the country. We have 8000 alums out there. And they gave to the campaign,” said Butler.

Not all alumni go on to continue the arts, but it’s the lessons his staff instilled in Augusta’s youth that matter.

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“The band director at Gleaners High School. He took piano lessons right here will several out teachers with students who took art that teaching art in the school system right here. And but they started here. We have students that have gone to Broadway,” said Butler.

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The final phase of a project that Butler hopes will continue to inspire the next generation of successful adults.

“We just use the arts to get there,” he said.

Butler says groundbreaking will start in early October and is expected to finish by the organization’s 50th anniversary next year.

Many of the school’s plays focus on social issues and education like drug awareness and education.

As it has been in the past, the Augusta Mini Theater aims to remain a pillar of the community.

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The theatre is also preparing to send its students over to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to perform for the International Black Theatre Festival on August 3.



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Augusta, GA

Giant sinkhole opens on Walton Way in Augusta

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Giant sinkhole opens on Walton Way in Augusta


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – Amid intensely high temperatures followed by a torrential downpour Wednesday, a sinkhole opened up on Walton Way.

The pavement was buckled around the deep hole in front of Langford Middle School, 3019 Walton Way.

It was big enough to swallow a medium-size car.

Crews surrounded it with yellow tape and glow sticks to keep anyone from falling into the chasm at the entrance to the Windsor Court neighborhood.

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It happened Wednesday evening, hours after another calamity near a different school. An abandoned structure caught fire Wednesday morning near Gracewood Elementary.



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Augusta, GA

Traffic snarled in both directions on I-20 in Augusta

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Traffic snarled in both directions on I-20 in Augusta


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – A big-rig crash on westbound Interstate 20 snarled traffic for hours Wednesday evening in Augusta.

Meanwhile, a stalled vehicle blocked eastbound traffic, too.

The big-rig crash blocked two lanes of westbound I-20 near the Walton Way Extension exit. The slowdown backed up traffic all the way to the state line. The lanes weren’t expected to be clear until about 8:45 p.m., according to the Georgia Department of Transportation.

While drivers were dealing with that, a vehicle stalled on eastbound I-20, blocking two lanes, also near the Walton Way Extension. It happened at 7:45 p.m..

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Augusta, GA

Storm leaves over 300 people without power across the CSRA

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Storm leaves over 300 people without power across the CSRA


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – An overnight storm left over 300 Georgia Power customers without power across the CSRA early Wednesday morning.

In Waynesboro, two outages near Thompson Bridge Road left 187 customers were out of power at 4:30 a.m., according to the Georgia Power outage map.

The outage was restored as of 4:55 a.m.

At 4:30 a.m. 130 customers were out of power near Augusta Technical College at the Thomson location. The outage was restored as of 4:55 a.m.

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As of 5 a.m. less than five customers were out of power:

On Milledgeville Road, estimated to be restored by 9:30 a.m.

Off of Wrightsboro Road, the condition is being re-evaluated as of 7:11 a.m.

Off of Old Petersburg Road in Lincolnton estimated to be restored by 9 a.m.

Off of McLeod Bridge Road in Swainsboro with an estimated restoration time of 9 a.m.

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