Board members of the Southern Monterey County Center for the Performing Arts gather on the stage at Robert Stanton Theater in King City as Steve Wilson (second from left) finishes painting the back wall. (Photo by Sean Roney)

KING CITY — Steve Wilson, a board member with Southern Monterey County Center for the Performing Arts, finished painting the back wall of Robert Stanton Theater at King City High School on July 9 after 10 days of painting.

Wilson did the labor while SMCCPA sponsored the five gallons of paint needed to renovate the theater and provide a clean, black finish for the rear wall, free of chips, marks and patches of painted-over spot-fixes. John Jernigan was credited with providing the ladders for Wilson to get far above the stage floor.

“This whole thing, it looks remarkably different than what it did when I started,” Wilson said, as he evaluated the finished look without scuffs.

The era of Covid-19 shutdowns meant Wilson was free to go into the theater to paint without local groups practicing or rehearsing on the stage. He not only repainted the rear wall, but also spotted furniture, fixtures and other small areas of improvement to which he gave a fresh coat of paint.

Wilson said he continued to see areas in need of paint and improvement as he went through the theater. He described his process as fixing up things “piece by piece.”

Five gallons was just the right amount of paint to use for the project.

“We cut it close,” Wilson said, pouring a small amount of leftover paint back into a can.

The back wall is visible during stage showcases of dance, music and drama, and the new surface will be ready to display when conditions are again safe enough to allow for theater performances.

“We have no doubt that the arts will return to the Stanton’s stage and that our theater will be a vital, creative centerpiece for future decades uncounted,” said Robert Walton, a board member of SMCCPA.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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