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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Theatre in the Square keeps lights on, comes to Jesus

OUTSTANDING IN HIS FIELD: Brad Sherrill
Last fall, Marietta's Theatre in the Square launcheda life-or-death fundraising drive. Yesterday managing director Raye Varney announced that the company raised $297,931, short of its $350,000 goal for 2011, but "With the community’s support, we will be able to finish the season (which runs through May), and over the next few months we’ll be working with our Board of Directors, staff and key stakeholders to determine a new direction and developing the financial targets needed to support the organization in its new form."

The company has a goal to raise an additional $400,000 by June 30, the end of its fiscal year. According to the playhouse's press release:

Since the start of the recession, the Theatre has cut its budget by a third, had two rounds of layoffs, and, in September, implemented staff-wide pay cuts which remain in effect. According to Board Chair Mike Russell, “Theatre in the Square’s Board has been working on improving the company’s revenue throughout this recession. We are invested in and committed to saving this valuable organization; in fact, in the last 18 months, the Board of Directors has personally given over $186,000."

Theatre in the Square's light-hearted comedy The Ladies Man plays on the Main Stage through Feb. 26, and on Feb. 8 its Alley Stage opens the world premiere of Red Letter Jesus. Actor Brad Sherrill has performed a one-man version of The Gospel of John for more than a decade, and by 2010 had delivered nearly 600 performances. Directed by Vincent Murphy, Red Letter Jesus draws on Matthew, Mark and Luke for his newest take on the New Testament. One hopes that the playhouse can do for its donations what Jesus did with the loaves and the fishes.

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