Alum John Watson Reflects on His Time at Nevada Theatre

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

THE UNION (GRASS VALLEY) -- In 1970, when I was just a young whippersnapper in my early 20s, I starred in The Apple Tree, The Private Ear and The Public Eye at the Nevada Theatre. The program (which also included I Do! I Do!) was put together by a friend who, like me, was a recent San Francisco State University graduate, in cooperation with Grass Valley entrepreneur LeRoy Geist, who owned a warehouse construction business.

Mr. Geist and his family had purchased the former Jones Hospital, now known as the Swan Levine House, and were the first owners to begin converting the building to residential use. The Geist family backed the summer stock program and also housed the show's cast and directors, all of us transplanted from San Francisco.

To my knowledge, this project marked the first-ever use of the Nevada Theatre for live theatre after it shut down as a movie house in the late ’60s.