Susquehanna Stage Company is hosting a fundraising event on Saturday, Oct. 20, for the opening of the Marietta Center for the Arts. The new facility will utilize both the Historic Marietta Theatre and a church building across the street. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go towards renovating the two buildings.
Julia Howey, a member of the Susquehanna Stage board of directors, said that the new space “will allow Susquehanna Stage to provide more than just plays and musicals. This will give us the space to provide for children and open up to the community.”
The fundraising event will mark the opening of the 133 W. Market St. location, a stone church building that Susquehanna Stage purchased from Living God Fellowship in August. The 12,000-square-foot building features two performances spaces. The Eater Theater — the feature stage — will seat 220 and open first for the July 2019 production of “Evita.” The Gallery Stage — a more intimate space for small performances — will open with “Plaza Suite.” The building has additional space slated for costume storage, a sewing room, a fitting room, and a prop area.
The fundraiser is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 20; it features a number of performances, food, drink, and a silent auction. Admission is $30; tickets are available for purchase at susquehannastageco.com and will be sold at the door. Performances will include previews of the 2019 season and features performers of all ages. Food was donated by David Shirey, owner of Piper Belle’s BBQ in Mount Joy. Desserts are sponsored by Nick’s Bistro in Marietta and created by a local chef Tarik Boughelam of dessertART.Items up for auction include a charter flight, VIP Wine Tasting and Tour at Hershey Vineyards, jewelry from Koser Jewelers, a gourmet dinner for four – prepared by a professional chef, a brand new bike from Lancaster Velo, a 1-hour professional photography session with an award-winning photographer, sports tickets, and more.
The event kicks off the Light the Stage fundraising campaign for Susquehanna Stage. The group is targeting $100,000 and running the campaign through Dec 31, 2019. Donations will be put towards the cost of lighting as well as art education programs for children, teens and adults.
Susquehanna Stage still plans to renovate the Historic Marietta Theatre, a movie house that closed in 1997 that they purchased in 2016. Jim Johnson, founding artistic director at Susquehanna Stage, said that donations to the renovations project for the two buildings would be helping “to present high-quality productions and provide innovative arts-infused programs that engage and inspire thousands of artists, volunteers, and students each year.”
Susquehanna Stage Company has previously performed in a gymnasium at theMarietta Community House, which seats about 110 people. The group began 10 years ago as a small group of creative people interested in community theater in Lancaster County. As a nonprofit community organization, the group works their mission is to celebrate, through theatrical performances, the humanity binding us all together.