Goodwill Theatre Inc. was established in 2001. Its mission is to create a professional performing arts complex and magnet training academy that will enrich the lives of our residents and visitors. In October of 2007, GWT opened the Firehouse Stage as the first performance venue of the complex. In March of 2008, the Firehouse Stage became the Schorr Family Firehouse Stage. Currently, the venue hosts over 65 events, including cabaret, classics, theater for young audiences, classical piano, jazz, puppets, as well as private rentals, each year.
The Goodwill Theater Complex and Professional Training Academy will house at least three year-round performance venues including the 850-seat historic proscenium theater (the Goodwill Theatre) and two theaters in the 46-48 Willow Street property: a 300-seat theater on the third floor (the Rooftop Playhouse) and the 125-seat multi-purpose SCHORR FAMILY FIREHOUSE STAGE on the first floor.
Lobbies, rehearsal halls and classrooms will also be part of the complex. Goodwill Theatre will present and create theatre for young audiences, new work, dance, music, visual and media arts as well as serve as rental space for local cultural organizations. The multidisciplinary professional training academy will offer post-graduate degree, certificate and audit programs in such areas as stage performance, stage directing, stage management, arts administration, design disciplines, playwriting, dramaturgy, technicians and run crew and will be housed in these historical buildings and the connecting new structure.
As a result, the Goodwill Theater Complex and Professional Training Academy will act as a catalyst for revitalizing Johnson City’s downtown by building confidence and trust in potential investments in downtown development. As proven by other historic theater renovations, the renovation of the Goodwill Theatre Complex will spur private sector investments in downtown restaurants, shops, and office space. Additionally, the project will help attract and retain a skilled and educated work force and attract approximately 100,000 into the center of Broome County. It is estimated that those 100,000 people will spend roughly $1.5 million annually. Therefore, the worth of this important project cannot be disputed.