Could Broken A/C Close Curtains for Good?

The Village Players of Hatboro are trying to raise $20,000 needed to cover the purchase and installation of a new central air-conditioning unit.

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.”

How you can help

Tax-deductible contributions can be made to the Village Players by clicking here or by sending a check to The Village Players of Hatboro, ATTN: Donations, PO Box 444, Hatboro, PA 19040


Marc Lombardi April 27, 2012 at 08:05 PM
To those with The Players...I would also recommend possibly creating a KICKSTARTER campaign. It's a site that comic books, novels, videogames, films and other artistic endeavours have also reached fundraising goals.
Coz Baldwin April 27, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Hi Marc, we have considered Kickstarter and the like. But because campaigns like that require you to meet your fundraising goal or else nothing gets paid out, we chose not to go that route. We need every dollar we can get.
Judy Habel April 30, 2012 at 02:42 PM
I remember my son attending a wonderful summer theater camp there in the 1990s, it was the beginning of his love of comedy which continues to this day! I will be making a donation online!
Fran Carroll May 07, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Thanks for the recent contributions! So far we have raised over $1,200. Our goal is $20,000 but every dollar counts. Your donation is tax deductable as well. The mailing address is P.O. Box 444, Hatboro, Pa 19040 or use PayPal at our web site www.thevillageplayers.com Thanks for helping the arts in your community!
Santa Contarino Kelly May 08, 2012 at 02:07 PM
If everyone who reads this gives something, 1 dollar, 10 dollars, 100 dollars, whatever you can afford, will help.


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