For 63 seasons, has ensured that the show would go on. Now, the nonprofit troupe is seeking donations to make sure the show can go on.
After the community theater group’s air-conditioning unit was deemed “beyond repair” last year, estimates were sought to have it replaced, according to Village Players actor and spokesman, .
The figures from a half dozen places all came with virtually the same estimate: $20,000 – far more than Village Players has at its disposal.
“It’s just impossible to do the show in the summer without air-conditioning,” Carroll said, adding that even some of the unseasonably warm days recently have made the theater “just insufferable” during rehearsals.
The only solution, he said, is to raise – or borrow - enough money to have a new unit installed prior to the next show, Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite,” which begins on June 8.
Carroll said Village Players has done 50/50 raffles during shows. Those efforts, he said, raised a “few hundred bucks.”
“It was just a drop in the bucket compared to what we really need,” Carroll said.
A recent donation drive letter sent to about 500 people generated less than $100, according to Village Players member Angela Schlauch.
Carroll said the group has also sought help from local legislators, but grant funding for something as specific as central air-conditioning replacement is next to non-existent.
Schlauch, in her letter, which is also posted on Facebook, said the inability to provide air-conditioning could close the theater’s curtains for good.
“Just staying open is a financial struggle and we do not have enough money for air conditioning. If we don’t get one soon, we face a tough decision as to what we should do about our June show,” Schlauch wrote in the letter. “We would also face the sad possibility of losing the June show in the future. And if we lose the June show, we will most likely not bring in enough money to remain open.”
Carroll said he didn’t necessarily view the cancellation of the June show as the theater’s death knell. But, he said it would make an already tight budget even more so.
“It would really cripple our finances. That’s the only way we make money is by doing shows,” he said of the 90 percent in revenue productions generate. “If we lose one-fourth of that from our budget, it would really cripple us.”
Yet, despite the uncertain future, in the short-term, for the “Plaza Suite” show, Carroll said it’s all systems go from the cast’s standpoint.
“I think the cast itself would want to rehearse and rehearse and rehearse as if nothing’s wrong,” Carroll said. “Hopefully we’ll get the money and everything together and they can install it.”
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