SPTC offers support of theaters ravaged by Hurricane Irene

December 09, 2011
Santa Paula News

The loyalty of thespians and lovers of theater is legendary, and was reinforced recently by donations made by the Santa Paula Theater Center to two storm-damaged playhouses.

The 73-seat theater holding the Langhorne Players, located in Newtown, PA and the Weston Playhouse Theater Co. of Weston, VT (at 75 the state’s oldest professional theater with more than 300 seats) received damage in October when Hurricane Irene swept over the eastern states. 

According to SPTC Board President Mary Ann Krause, the decision was made to help each theater with a small donation after Leslie Nichols read in the New York Times of the hurricane’s flood damages to one of the theaters. Krause said while Nichols, a former SPTC board president, producer and actress, was researching how to contact the damaged theater, when “We found there was another theater similarly impacted.”

The decision was made to help the theater: “During our last production - ‘The Seafarer’ - SPTC raised funds to send $125 each to the two theaters... they had a lot of standing water, a lot of damage to set pieces and props, that type of loss.” Krause noted that the long-term impacts of the flooding could include replacing flooring.

The SPTC decided to make the donations and, in turn, “would hope that others would recognize our plight if we had a similar situation... since we’re in a solid financial position right now, we wanted to acknowledge the difficulty they are going through.... We’re not rolling in money,” said Krause, “but the SPTC can certainly send them the small amount we did.”

And such a donation shows solidarity within community theater: “We wanted to acknowledge the important role that small, nonprofit theaters play in communities and help the Langhorne Players and Weston Playhouse with their recovery. And the sooner they can produce plays, it helps raises people’s spirits in a community that has been impacted” by disaster.

Want to enjoy a theater classic? Call now to make reservations for Joseph Kesselring’s “Arsenic and Old Lace” playing at the SPTC through December 18. Call the SPTC at 525-4645 for show and ticket information and to make reservations. Also visit www.santapaulatheatercenter.org for more information.

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