The show must go on: Connecticut’s longest running community theater starts fundraising campaign
A little theater with a big streak is turning to the public for help holding onto its title of Connecticut’s longest running community theater.
Town Players of Newtown is located among the homes and trees on Orchard Hill Road.
“It is in the middle of a neighborhood. A lot of people still don't know we're here, but we are,” joked Town Players of Newtown board member Stefanie Rosenberg. The theater began in 1936 and moved to its current location in 1955.
“We're completely run by volunteers. Nobody is paid. And we've made it this whole time just by having a lot of people volunteer to help us,” Rosenberg explained.
But now the theater needs even more of a hand. Town Players puts on four main productions a year with the curtain about to rise on their third. Then came a comedy of errors.
“Our air conditioner just went, which was a really big deal. We were told that the air conditioner was so old at this point that it couldn't be fixed. It had to be replaced. So that's one of the challenges we have because we're a nonprofit. We don't have a lot of money in the bank, so we're really going from day to day,” Rosenberg told News 12.
The building also needs a new roof, further adding to the drama.
“There are so many things that go on with a house structure such as this that's been around for over 100 years. At this point, you name it, it's probably happening,” she said.
But the show must go on, so Town Players started an online fundraising campaign that has collected over $1,400 so far. Rosenberg said that's allowed them to cover the first payment or two for the new air conditioning just in time for their latest performance.
“It's called ‘A Murder is Announced,’ and it's by Agatha Christie, so it's a little murder mystery, and we're all very excited about it. Rehearsals are ongoing, and we actually start our tech week on Sunday because we are opening on next Friday,” Rosenberg explained.
She said there's a reason Town Players has been around for so long.
“I think it's the passion of everybody who's involved here through all these years. We've passed it on from generation to generation so to speak, right? And there's always someone who's picking up the mantle and wants to keep it going. We just all love to be part of something bigger than us,” Rosenberg told News 12.
The theater’s fundraising goal is $20,000.