Category Archives: News and Events

Next Act Seeking New Board Members to Take the Organization/Astra into Next Era

Next Act, Inc., the not-for-profit that formed in 2014 to create an endowment for, completely renovate, and, ultimately, in 2018, reopen the historic Astra Theatre in downtown Jasper, is seeking applicants for new members for its board of directors.  The request for applicants follows the plan for three of its longer-tenured members to resign at year’s end:  Leslie Hamby, Marc Steczyk, and Selena Vonderheide.

“We felt that the timing was right for us to depart,” said Marc Steczyk, the president of Next Act’s board of directors since its 2014 inception.  “We accomplished what we set out to do and that was to purchase and renovate the Astra.  We have been able to oversee the first full season of programming and feel confident that the remaining members, in harmony with new members, are set to lead the organization and the Astra into a new era of growth and sustainability.”

Interested candidates may send their resumes and/or qualifications to or may phone 812-566-1935 to request additional information.

“It has been an honor to serve on this board and we can’t express how appreciative we have been and are for the support the community has put into the entire Astra rejuvenation effort,” said Leslie Hamby, the board’s chairperson since 2014.  “It is the community’s excitement and involvement that has helped keep us driving forward in our endeavors.”

The rejuvenated Astra’s fall 2018 schedule includes a performance by Pokey LaFarge on October 6, a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 27, and an acoustic-trio performance featuring Rodney Crowell on November 3.  There are also several events in November and December that have yet to be made public.

“With the number of events, both announced and not announced, this fall and winter, there is no better time for new members, new energy, and new ideas to come forward and help take Next Act into the future,” said Selena Vonderheide, a key member of the Next Act leadership team and project manager for the Astra’s renovation.  “Next Act’s future is bright and I know that all three of us look forward to watching it continue to blossom into the future.”

Tickets are still available for the October 6 solo-acoustic LaFarge performance, The Rocky Horror Picture Show screening on October 27, and the Crowell performance on November 3.  Tickets for Next Act, Inc., events at the Astra Theatre can be purchased directly at

The Astra Theatre is owned and operated by Next Act, Inc., a 501c3 that has raised nearly $2 million dollars since forming in October of 2014—all of which has been used to create an endowment in support of the venue’s perpetual sustainability, purchase the facility, and then completely renovate it.  For more information about Next Act, the Astra, or to learn how you might help, please visit or follow the organization on these social media outlets:, and/or

“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” Coming to the Astra on August 4

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is coming to the Astra Theatre on Saturday, August 4, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. The screening is being presented by and through a unique partnership and collaboration with Jasper Community Arts. This special community-minded event during Strassenfest is open and free to the public, but seating is limited by capacity. Free will… Continue Reading

“Rock Lotto” Takes Shape After Lottery-Style Draw Forms Bands

Bands for the area and region’s first “Rock Lotto” event at the Astra Theatre on July 21 have been formed. Musicians from local and regional bands The High Road, Fun Guns, Sparrow and Crandall, and more have been divided up through a unique lottery-style draft held on Friday, June 29, 2018, at the Astra Theatre.  The 12 total… Continue Reading

First “Rock Lotto” Fundraising Event to be held at the Astra in July

The area’s first “Rock Lotto” will hit the Jim and Pat Thyen Performance Stage at the Astra on July 21, 2018, at 7 p.m.  The unique event will take 12 local musicians, divide them into three bands, and have the newly-formed “bands” perform five songs each.  Audience members will receive a voucher worth ten points to vote… Continue Reading

Pokey LaFarge to Perform Intimate Solo Acoustic Set at the Historic Astra Theatre in October

American musician Pokey LaFarge will perform a solo acoustic set at the historic Astra Theatre on Saturday, October 6, 2018.  Doors for this intimate performance will open at 6:30 p.m., a yet-to-be determined opener will perform at 7:30 p.m., and LaFarge will take to the Jim and Pat Thyen Performance Stage at 8:30 p.m. LaFarge is… Continue Reading

Wizard of Oz coming to the Astra on June 2!

The 1939 classic Wizard of Oz will be screened at the historic Astra Theatre on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at 7 p.m.  Tickets are $8 and can be purchased in advance online by CLICKING HERE or at the door the night of the show.   The Greater Jasper Downtown Business Association (the Downtown Merchants) is sponsoring the presentation. Widely… Continue Reading

Astra’s Marquee Re-Lighting Date Set for April 11

The historic Astra’s recently renovated and refurbished iconic sign and marquee is set to be relit for the first official time on Wednesday, April 11, at 7:30 p.m.  The marquee lighting event will, effectively, also serve as a ribbon-cutting of sorts for the soon-to-be 83-year-old facility as it heads into its first official event since being… Continue Reading

East Nashville Recording Artist, Smooth Hound Smith, to Perform at the Historic Astra Theatre in May

Smooth Hound Smith, a self-described foot stomping Americana roots duo, will perform at the historic Astra Theatre on Saturday, May 12, 2018.  Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with a yet-to-be-determined opening act beginning at 7:30 p.m. PURCHASE TICKETS HERE. The East Nashville duo utilizes a combination of foot percussion, fuzzed out finger-picked guitar patterns, and… Continue Reading

Amid Complete Renovation, Next Act/Astra Launches 2018 Membership Drive

Next Act, Inc., the 501c3 renovating the historic Astra Theatre in downtown Jasper, has launched its 2018 membership campaign.  Launched while the building is currently undergoing a complete and total renovation and remodel lead by general contractor Seufert Construction, proceeds from the campaign will be used to pay for final design elements in the theater… Continue Reading

Welcome to our Board of Directors Members

Next Act, Inc., has added two new members to its board of directors:  Ben Nowotarski and Rafaela Schaick.  Steffi Schmücker has also joined the board in a consultant’s capacity. “Our original board of directors is now almost four years in on our journey and, as is the case with most not-for-profit by-laws, we saw the… Continue Reading

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The Next Act | P.O. Box 23 | Jasper, IN 47547