Renee and Dusty Anderson spent eight years building an indoor concert venue from locally harvested poplar logs and host a summer music series that, despite its remote location, is well attended and now in its 13th season.
The Jerry Run Theater is located in Webster County just north of Holly River State Park.
Dusty Anderson’s vision for an off-the-beaten-track music venue at the mouth of Jerry Run in the mountains of Webster County seemed a bit far-fetched to some of his neighbors — in fact, Anderson himself wasn’t sure anyone would come once his Field-of-Dreams theater project was complete.
“After driving by the building for the seven or eight years Dusty worked on it, I’m sure some of our neighbors thought it would never be finished,” said Anderson’s wife, Renee, a retired teacher.
“I just like music and building things,” said Anderson, a recently retired carpenter who plays electric bass. “I thought that if no one came to play or hear music here, at least I’d have a good place to jam with my friends.”
But Anderson’s dream turned out to be a shared vision. Jerry Run Summer Theater is now in its 13th season of connecting musicians with music lovers, some of them traveling hundreds of miles for the chance to spend a Friday or Saturday night dining on hot dogs in the theater’s concession area, managed by Renee, and then reclining in the theater’s spacious seating to take in some live bluegrass, gospel, rock, blues, or Americana folk music channeled through a sound system operated by Dusty.
“A friend of ours said it’s a good cheap date night,” said Renee. “For $20, you get food, a show and at least some of the gas to get here.”