J. Frank Hillyard Auditorium
The Schultz Theatre and School of Performing Arts
Physical Address: J. Frank Hillyard Middle School
226 Hawks Hill Drive, Broadway, Virginia 22815
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1027
Broadway, Virginia 22815
+1 (540) 896-9600
Board of Directors
President: Neil Marrin
Vice President: Ron Smith
Treasurer: Theresa Kehm
Secretary: Gail Dawson
Artistic Director Emeritus: Michael Gwinn
In 1901 the Town of New Market needed a new town hall. A local businessman wrote to one of his suppliers, Charles Broadway Rouss, asking for a donation to aid the town in constructing the building. Mr. Rouss responded by sending a check for $2500.00, but he stipulated that the new building must include an opera house.
New Market complied by placing the Council Chambers at the rear of the first floor, the fire department on the south side of the ground floor, the town offices in the middle of the north side, and the police department in the front of the north side of the ground floor.
The upstairs floor became known as The Rouss Opera House. Mr. Rouss, a Winchester native, also donated a substantial sum to that community for a town hall there, and it also bore the name “Rouss Opera House”.
The fire department was moved from the building in the 1940’s and the south side of the ground floor was remodeled in the early 1950’s to allow the town offices to have more room. The building continued to serve as the town hall until 1993 when the new town hall was constructed. The building was then sold and used as a private residence for several years.
By 2006 the building had deteriorated and was in need of complete restoration. That year the old Rouss Opera House and New Market Town Hall was purchased by Don and Carmen Conard. Over the next several years they restored the building to reflect the feel of the 1901 Town Hall building.
In October 2010 Michael Gwin and Ranier Vidale leased the building with an option to buy and founded The Schultz Theatre, naming it after Michael’s grandfather. Since that time The Schultz has averaged over 20 main stage shows a year, and in 2012 was named by the readers of Virginia Living Magazine as one of the outstanding performing arts troupes in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
November 2016, The Schultz Theatre and School of Performing Arts moved to Broadway, VA. Performances will be at J. Frank Hillyard Auditorium. Our new venue boasts central air conditioning, comfortable seating and excellent sight lines for an optimal theatrical experience. We are especially pleased to be making this move with funding assistance from the Town of Broadway and the enthusiastic support of the Broadway community.
The Schultz Theatre is presently operated by a Board of Director. The Schultz (a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation) operates with all volunteer staff and is dependent upon donations for its continued existence.