Beam raising ceremony marks significant progress at The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater, anticipated grand opening in January 2025
Pleasant Grove, UT—As the Hale Center Theater Orem (HCTO) celebrates it farewell season in their home of 33 years, their new home, The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater, is about to celebrate a significant construction milestone in Pleasant Grove. HCTO broke ground on The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater (affectionately nicked named “The Ruth”) just over a year ago. On February 15th, the final steel beam will be raised into place, signifying completion of the main structure of the building and passing the halfway mark on construction.
“This is an incredibly meaningful milestone not only for construction of The Ruth, but for what it signifies for our organization and the arts community in Utah County,” said Cody Swenson, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Hale Center Foundation for the Arts and Education. “We’ve been working towards this moment for over 30 years, and as construction on our new home reaches its pinnacle, it really symbolizes the how we feel about The Ruth and what its completion means for the legacy of our theater. We’re endlessly grateful to our loyal patrons, generous donors, the City of Pleasant Grove, and our dedicated performers and staff who have made this milestone possible.”
The theater has invited members of the community who have been integral to its success to sign the beam before it is raised into place. The beam signing serves as a representation of the impact these community members have made on the theater’s 33-year history, and how each individual has made this new beginning at The Ruth possible. Those invited to sign the beam include former actors, employees, donors, city officials, and the theater’s architects and construction teams.
“It’s such an honor to be included in this momentous occasion,” said Mark Pulham, a long-time actor at HCTO. “I’ve been performing in and attending shows at this theater since it opened, and I had the privilege to work with and learn from Ruth and Nathan Hale. And what a couple they were. Ruth’s smile was always brighter than any stage lights, and Nathan was theater all wrapped up in a gentle giant of a man. I felt like I was part of a family when I was at the theater. There will always be a tender feeling for the old building and the memories it holds, but to know the legacy and spirit of Ruth and Nathan will be preserved at The Ruth is really special.”
Since The Ruth was announced in early 2022, the project has seen an outpouring of support from local business and philanthropists who are passionate about supporting the arts and the profound impact they have on the community. The fundraising campaign for The Ruth is ongoing, and any funds raised are directed to the completion of the building as well as to support current and future operating costs for the theater.
“Supporting and celebrating the arts is really about investing in the heart of our community,” said Rick McCloskey, owner of Dare Investments and contributing donor to The Ruth. “I have witnessed the transformative power of art firsthand, and I am deeply honored to be contributing to a cause that empowers real human connection and ignites audience imagination. We hope to continue to build this community of donors as The Ruth continues to grow. Together, we’re not only supporting great art; we’re fostering a legacy of creativity and cultural impact that will resonate with our children for generations to come.”
The Hale Center Theater Orem announced in early 2022 that they would be moving operations to the doTERRA campus in Pleasant Grove. As part of the relocation, HCTO will be formally renamed “The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater” and less formally known as “The Ruth,” in memory of theater founders Ruth and Nathan Hale.
The new building will more than double the capacity for the main proscenium-thrust stage with 670 seats and will allow for an expanded completely “in-the-round” theater. It will also include a second performing space with flexible seating for youth productions and smaller shows. The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater will also feature an education wing to house the Ruth Academy for the Performing Arts which provides arts education for youth and adults.
The Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater is set to open to the public in January of 2025.
About Hale Center Foundation for the Arts and Education
The Hale Center Foundation for the Arts and Education is a 501(c)(3) non-profit performing arts organization that operates a theater and performing arts education programs. Established in 1990 by Ruth and Nathan Hale and their children (Cody and Linda Hale) and grandchildren (Cody and Anne Swenson, the theater has stood as a pillar of the performing arts in Utah Valley and has received several awards and recognitions including consistently being voted “Best Live Theater.” The theater produces nearly 400 performances of family friendly comedies and musicals each year. It is home to one of the top acting and vocal performance education venues in America. You can learn more about the upcoming Ruth and Nathan Hale Theater at www.theRuth.org.