Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

The show goes on at the Liberty Theater

DAYTON-Musicals, movies, and puppeteer shows are just a few of the performances coming up at the Liberty Theater, nestled on Main Street in Dayton.

In June, the Touchet Valley Arts Council announced that they had selected Debbie Ayerst as the Liberty theater's manager. She had been working at the theater for roughly three years before taking the helm herself.

"I had never seen a live play until I came here, started working here, and saw one on our stage," Ayerst said. "I have never been a movie person- I prefer music."

Ayerst said she was working on an accounting degree at Walla Walla Community College, and one of her classes required an internship. The theater manager at the time, Kristen Schober, had reached out to Ayerst and told her to apply for the job.

"That turned into showing the summer film season that summer, in 2018," Ayerst said. "She (Schober) resigned, and I was promoted to assistant manager. When Mike Ferrians resigned, I became the manager."

Since then, Ayerst has developed a deep appreciation for performing arts, right down to the production end of making a film.

"I never realized how things worked on the other side; a lot of people don't realize how much goes into a movie," she shared. "A lot of people don't realize you have to build the movie, understand the cues."

Actors and actresses have been in and out of the theater lately, Ayerst shared, as they rehearse for the upcoming production of "The Sound of Music." Live showings have been postponed, with the hopes that they will be on stage by May 2022.

"There are some great actors in the musical this year," Ayerst said. "I am very excited about this. Seeing the beforehand with my own eyes is a little different than just walking in for the final show. I no longer have to wonder just how this whole thing works."

"The Sound of Music" is being directed by Brenda Henderson this year. Ayerst said that there would be a variety of performances, including weekend matinees, and she highly recommends buying tickets ahead of time.

Master puppeteer and musician Dan Luce will be performing at the Liberty October 6 – 9. The Dayton High School alumni will give a concert of original music with his wife Tracy McFarland and guest Libby Miller on Thursday, October 7.

On October 9, he will lead a Build Your Own Puppet workshop at the Liberty Theater Annex and is limited to 20 participants with a $5.00 materials fee.

More information about these and future events is available at soon.

The theater will allow full capacity seating and require 100% masking from all viewers. Ayerst said that concessions would not be available.

The Liberty Theater has multiple air purifiers in the seating areas and on the stage to make the theater safe for all attendees. Ayerst said that she monitors the purifiers very closely and can adjust the fresh-air intake as needed.

The Liberty Theater will be showing Cry Macho, directed by and starring Clint Eastwood, on Oct. 1-3 and Oct 5, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, Sunday at 3 pm, and Tuesday at 6:30 pm.


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