American Mountain Theater, courtesy Elkins CVB
A growing performing-arts scene is helping to make Elkins, West Virginia, a popular destination for groups. The town has two musical revue theaters, a local playhouse and an arts heritage center.
Elkins’ uptick began when a local man named Kenny Sexton brought his performing family to town to open the American Mountain Theater.
“He married a girl from Elkins, and their whole family performed,” said Brenda Pritt, executive director of the Randolph County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “In the afternoons during the summer, they do history shows that talk about the 150th birthday of West Virginia. Their main shows on the weekends are variety shows, with comedy, country, bluegrass and rock ’n’ roll.”
Groups can also catch a show at the Gandy Dancer Theater. This dinner theater experience includes a meal and a variety show that features musical performances and traditional dances from West Virginia. The cast also puts on special shows for Halloween and Christmas.
Throughout the summer, groups can also take part in traditional arts programs at the Augusta Heritage Center. Programming highlights Cajun, Irish and bluegrass music, with instructional workshops and twice-weekly concerts.
Many groups that visit Elkins theaters also take a train ride on the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad, whose depot is across the street from the American Mountain Theater.