WARSAW — Max Poorman remembers when productions at Wagon Wheel were held in a tent, and theatergoers could hear chickens clucking away in the background as they watched the show. That was back when the theater opened in 1956.
Today, Poorman is still attending productions at Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts — well over half a century later and as he himself gets ready to hit the century mark when his 100th birthday rolls around on Wednesday, July 12.
In fact, Poorman has never missed a summer season at the well-known theater-in-the-round. That adds up to 420 performances he’s seen, according to information from Wagon Wheel’s executive director, Lakesha Green.
He regularly attends the matinee show on Thursday and sits in his favorite front-row seats in section four. For more than 50 years, Poorman attended with his wife, Mabel, and now he attends with his daughter, Arlene.
Wagon Wheel plans to celebrate its oldest and possibly most faithful patron at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, July 6, Green said.
“This is a moment in our organizational history that I don’t take for granted,” Green wrote in an email.