Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

Local News

March 2, 2009

Youthful performers act out

Try to raise money for theater

HORSE CAVE — Shawn O’Keefe sat in a back row at Kentucky Repertory Theater on Friday afternoon working on his lap top.

He was there waiting for his daughter, Alex, a student at Greenwood High School in Bowling Green, to finish rehearsals with the theater’s Young Performers Acting Group.

O’Keefe is like many other parents who were saddened to learn the theater is experiencing financial problems and could possibly close if it doesn’t raise $350,000 by mid-March.

“I was telling Robert (Brock) earlier I wish I could hit the lottery so I could take care of it all for him,” he said. “It really needs to be here. It’s a hidden treasure. It doesn’t need to go anywhere. They need to find the money.”

The theater found itself in a financial crisis due to a loss of donations from three major supporters who took huge hits by the failing stock market.

“That was a devastating blow to the tune of $65,000,” said Robert Brock, artistic director. “Looking to the future, we probably won’t have them again this year, which really makes it tricky, because these are foundations that we’ve been able to count on for a long time and now we have to fly without them.”

Escalating gas prices last summer led to a loss in ticket sales, which added to the theater’s financial woes.

A couple of weeks ago theater officials launched a fundraising campaign, “Save A Kentucky Treasure,” in an effort to generate the needed money. As of Friday afternoon, the theater had raised between $140,000 to $150,000.

“I think it is just wonderful progress,” said Mary Margaret Villines, development director. “That’s a lot, especially when you consider smaller donations. I would say there’s not a donation that exceeds $2,000 to $3,000. We have a number of $1 donations. We have a lot of $25 donations up to $1,000.”

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