Since opening its doors as the Aladdin Theatre in 1924, the now named Historic Cocoa Village Playhouse has been a cultural leader in Brevard County. Anastacia Hawkins-Smith has had the honor of serving as the executive director since 1989. An audience base of 4,000 season patrons support the Playhouse each year and performances are known to sell out to the public before the run of each production is finished with over 55,000 audience viewers participating each year.
In the past year, Hawkins-Smith oversaw all of the theater’s transformational renovations, directed its successful programs, fundraising events and jointly founded the Summer Musical Theatre Project in conjunction with the King Center for the Performing Arts. She can’t help but boast about the Playhouse’s staff and volunteers as the lifeblood of its successful operations.
This year, revenue exceeded expenses, leaving funds to seed the productions of this year’s 24th season, with the Playhouse’s portion of the renovation paid in full along with the cost of seats, and ticket sales soared to over $1.2 million. Hawkins-Smith worked jointly with the City of Cocoa to apply for a $500,000 grant from the state of Florida to renovate the lobby and mezzanine of the Playhouse. With architectural plans underway, the renovation will take place during the summer of 2014 — not interrupting the show schedules, of course.