In 1994, the Jubilee Center owner signed over its deed to Mission Waco at no cost, as the corner where it was located was controlled by drug dealers and worked by prostitutes. This condemned old shopping center just happened to be home to one of the oldest theatres in Waco: the Texas Theatre. Many older residents in our community saw their first movie there, paying only $.09 for the ticket. But as the neighborhood deteriorated in the sixties, the old theatre soon became an XXX porno theatre called “The Capri.”
Once Mission Waco took over the Jubilee Center, despite the six “green-tagged” buildings, very few volunteers and lack of funds, we transformed the complex, complete with a renovated Jubilee Theatre. This center also became home to our offices, the Youth Center, the World Cup Café and the Urban Expressions Art Gallery, acting as “the hub” of the Mission Waco organization.
Thanks to musician David Crowder, The Greater Waco Council of the Arts and several individuals, our little theatre has seen massive renovation and development over the years. The Jubilee Theatre, which seats 243 people, now stands as a beacon of hope and creativity in our community, hosting a whole host of creative arts, community meetings, plays, musicals, concerts and all kinds of events. We plan on being here for the long haul!
In 2010 Stevie Walker-Webb a WellSpring Scholar and recent graduate of the University of North Texas returned to Waco to serve as the Founding Artistic Director of the Jubilee Theatre. Stevie was a kid who grew up in the Mission Waco after school programs and developed a heart of service and a passion for the arts. Under his leadership Stevie developed new programs for the Jubilee Theater, offering for the first time in its history a full season of plays, productions, and community and civic engagement programs. He developed a youth theatre Summer Camp Curriculum, hosted a playwright’s festival for African American Women in McLennan County, and brought award winning plays to Waco such as The Whipping Man, by Matthew Lopez, as well as original works he created like We Ain’t The Huxtables, that addressed the importance of family, and Christian Faith in a changing world. Stevie often jokes that he didn’t know “what an Artistic Director was until he became one at the age of 21” since then the Jubilee Theatre has served as a place for the community to gather, reimagine, and redefine itsself.
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If you have questions or would like to reserve this facility, please contact us.