We would be remiss if we did not share some information on the namesake of our auditorium with those that came after. Jim Jewell was an instructor at IVCC for many, many years. Seemed like any name that was ever mentioned, Jim would comment "I had him/her in class". He knew everybody.
Jim was the guy you wanted to sit next to at board meetings. The things he would mutter under his breath were hilarious and spot on!
Some will remember Jim's signature move... in every production that he appeared, he would find some occasion to scratch his ass. He acted, directed, sang and danced a little. His funniest role was probably as the title character in The Nerd. I don't know how we got through rehearsals due to all the laugh breaks with that cast. He wrote a one-man play, "Milo Lookinglass" and starred in it's world premiere at the Dom Ballroom.
Jim had a piano which he loaned to several productions through the years. I don't remember which production it was, but they failed to acknowledge him in the program and he was very hurt and upset and wouldn't let it go. When Scot and I got married, in our service bulletin we had printed "Special thanks to Jim Jewell for the use of his piano." He got the biggest kick out of that and finally got over it. In the end, he got the final laugh by leaving his piano to Stage 212 after his death. A legacy that recently came back to haunt us when Al Stremlau could no longer store it at his house and we had to find space for it at the building. Jim also left Stage 212 a goodly sum of money which was the impetus for us acquiring our "new home", resulting in the auditorium being named after him.
During his last days, we set up a volunteer schedule of 212ers that took meals to Jim and checked in on him. He so appreciated the kindnesses shown to him. Since he had no family in the area and his elderly father lived out of state, it fell to his Stage 212 family to clean out his house and take care of those details. This was a time that we all worked together to take care of our own. It was a time that made us realize that we really are a part of something special and that we care for each other like family.