Red Cane Theatre: 'It is so important to keep the arts alive'

EUGENE, Ore. - In their stage make-up and custom-made giddups, a group of a dozen college-age performers take the stage they made themselves.

The group, known as the Phoinix Players, rehearses every night at the Red Cane Theatre in Eugene.

"We're usually here as often as we can be," said Emmelene Romer, a performer with the Phoinix Players. "We're always running numbers until we think they're perfect."

But the Red Cane was not always a theater.

"It used to be an Asian market," said Amanda Lawrence, house manager and performer at the Red Cane Theatre.

The Asian market is in a strip mall on the corner of 11th and Chambers.

Lawrence said it was not easy turning the market into a theater.

"So we had to paint the walls black obviously and scrub the floors," Lawrence said. "That took two to three days."

Amanda Lawrence is a native of Springfield with more than a decade of theater experience.

The performer said opening up the Red Cane Theatre is something she's always wanted to bring to Eugene.

"We kind of call it our baby because it took us so long to find a space," Lawrence said.

Since July, the Phoinix Players have taken part in a variety of different shows. These shows include Beauty and the Beast and Silver Spur Saloon.

"We're so bombarded by screens," Lawrence said. "I think that is so important to keep the arts alive and to keep live theater around. It's such a beautiful thing, and I think sometimes we take it a little for granted."

When asked where Lawrence saw herself in the near future, the answer was simple.

"I would say still here and sold out every night," Lawrence said. "That would be the dream."

The Phoinix Players' opening night for "A Christmas to Remember" is Thursday, November 15th.

The show will go through December 21st.

Tickets can be purchased by calling (541) 556-4524 or you can go to their website at