Athens singer-songwriter Mark Thurston premiered his latest project Monday at the Sayre Theatre to a crowd of friends and community members.

The video, for Thurston's song "When You Return to Me," and a short documentary demonstrating the process of recording his solo album "Believer" played Monday evening to an enthusiastic audience.

Thurston said he has made live performance videos before, but sought to create a full-fledged music video for "When You Return to Me" to demonstrate the song's message of unconditional love.

He sought help locally to accomplish his vision, working with videographer Rob Wetmore to create a story and film the project.

Local actors, including several members of the Athens Area High School drama club, Athens Student Actors Guild, shot scenes for the video. Wetmore and Thurston used several familiar locations for the video, including Howard Elmer Park and the surrounding neighborhood, the railroad tracks along Lehigh Avenue in Sayre and the Tioga Point Cemetery in Athens.

ASAG students' families also helped, with some lending their homes to the film crew for scenes. Friends also assisted behind the scenes, Thurston said.

Showing the video to his friends at the theater was "a big deal," Thurston said. "It was awesome to see it on the big screen," he added.

Sayre Theatre manager Margie Ross said she believed "When You Return to Me" to be the first music video to debut at the theater.

"I'm so happy that we played a part in the premiere of this video," she said. "It has a great message."

Proceeds from merchandise sales at the premiere will be donated to the Bradford County Regional Arts Council, Thurston said. Attendees also filled a large box with non-perishable food items to be donated to the Sayre Salvation Army's food pantry.

The video for "When You Return to Me" will be posted on YouTube and on Thurston's Facebook page, he said.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: