The Louise Owens Theater, a 300-seat black box theater at Whitefield Academy was dedicated on Saturday, October 6, during a private event honoring members and friends of the Owens and Morris families. The theater is located in Morris Hall, Whitefield’s new 55,000 square foot Upper School building which opened in August.
The theater is named after Louise Owens, a longtime resident of Buckhead, who was an active member of The Junior League of Atlanta, the Board of Trustees of Brenau University, and the First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta where she was involved in numerous ministries including the Women of the Church, and the Stephen Ministry. Owens was a lover of art and music and a longtime patron of the High Museum of Art and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
“From my earliest recollection, I remember my mother and my two grandmothers going to the symphony and opera together,” said Vesta Jones, Owens’ daughter. “From the time I was eight years old, she would take me and each of my brothers to the New York Metropolitan Opera whenever they came to Atlanta. She would go over the plot beforehand and explain it to us so that we would have a better appreciation for it.”
Jones added, “My mother was a firm believer in Christian education and a founding contributor to the establishment of Whitefield in 1996. She would be so happy to see this theater and excited to know that so many Whitefield students will now have a place to experience the arts more fully.”
Louise Owens’ involvement with Whitefield continues through her family. Vesta Jones served as Whitefield’s first guidance counselor and her husband, Dr. David Jones, was on the founding steering committee and served as the school’s first chairman of the board of trustees. Their daughter, Lucy Jones McBride, was in charge of Middle School drama at the school in early 2000, and is married to David McBride, Whitefield’s current Bible department chair.
During the dedication, attendees enjoyed a ribbon cutting ceremony, a time of prayer, a catered dinner in the theater, and a private showing of “C.S. Lewis On Stage,” featuring well-known Atlanta actor Tom Key, artistic director of Theatrical Outfit.
“At Whitefield, we believe that a well-rounded education includes a comprehensive understanding of the arts, through active participation in creative work,” said Stacy Quiros, Whitefield’s fine arts director. “Students involved in the arts develop critical thinking skills, learn to turn abstract ideas into concrete realities, and find personal contentment through the integration of their mind and spirit. We are thrilled to have this new theater thanks to the generous contributions of the Whitefield community.”