HORSE CAVE —
With the help of his students at Lindsey Wilson College, Robert Brock spent most of Saturday boxing up costumes, props and sets that were once used at Kentucky Repertory Theatre and loading them into two moving trucks.
LWC recently purchased the contents of the buildings in downtown Horse Cave, which were once part of the theater, through a sealed bidding process.
“When the deadline came, they called and said we were the highest bidder and to come and get it,” said Brock, an assistant professor of theater at LWC in Columbia.
Brock, who spent 13 years at Kentucky Rep as an actor, education director and artistic director before taking a position at LWC, would not disclose what LWC paid for the contents of the buildings.
“It was a steal for what we did get,” he said.
The college has until Friday to remove all the items it wants from the buildings, with the exception of the seats in the auditorium. But because most of his students would be in class this week, Saturday was the only day Brock had help to move most of the items that could be used by LWC’s theater program, which began three years ago.
“We had nothing,” Brock said.
New lighting, a sound system, seats, stage and curtains were installed during a renovation of the college’s auditorium. Still, the theater department had no props, costumes, tools or equipment.
“So we go from a theater program with none of that and overnight we become a theater program with 35 years of stuff,” Brock said.
LWC had been renting costumes from a company in New York, but with what it gained from buying the contents of the Kentucky Rep buildings, it will be able to save close to $4,000 on costume rental.
The college will also be able to use sets that were once used by the theater, as well as props, lighting and sound equipment.
The theater and all property owned by its parent company, Horse Cave Theatre 76 Inc., was sold Dec. 6 in a master commissioner’s sale in Hart County to Citizen’s First Bank for $197,000, which is $98,000 less than the actual appraised value of $295,000.
Citizen’s First filed a lawsuit in March against the theater and Ervin Leasing Co. of Ann Arbor, Mich., which had filed a lien against the theater in February 2012.
The bank’s lawsuit against the theater began the foreclosure process. The bank’s judgment was for $366,821, plus interest at a rate of 6.75 percent per annum, plus attorney fees and court costs beginning in January.
The theater had issued a promissory note to the bank in the sum of $376,485 in May 2011. The theater’s board of directors made the decision in February 2013 to close the theater due to financial problems.
As for whether LWC would be interested in buying the theater, Brock said he couldn’t speak for the college, but added, “It’s not necessarily a bad idea.”
As for what will happen to the buildings, Ashley Belcher, an attorney with Harned, Bachert & McGehee in Bowling Green, said that is still yet to be determined.
Before Saturday, Brock had only set foot inside the theater once after resigning from Kentucky Rep in 2010.
“It’s been weird not being a part of this at all for three years,” he said. “I came in once when they announced the auction, so I could see what all was here. I didn’t know how much had been taken out already or what was missing.”
Joining Brock and his theater students in removing the contents of the buildings on Saturday was his daughter, Caiti Balke of Bowling Green.
“It’s hard,” Balke said, as she watched her father’s theater students break down a set piece so it would fit in one of the moving trucks. “I was here when I was 7. This is where my mom and my stepdad met. This is also where I met my husband.”
The last play Balke appeared in at Kentucky Rep was “Our Town,” but her first play was “Much Ado About Nothing.” She couldn’t help but notice bits and pieces of those shows being carted out in boxes.
“I did see one of the costumes from ‘Much Ado About Nothing,’ which was my first show,” she said.
Jeremy Cloyd, a senior theater major at LWC, also helped move items Saturday. He had seen a few plays at the theater over time.
“I grew up in Monroe County and it was part of our yearly school adventure to come here at least once, if not more than once with my family,” he said.
Being there on Saturday, he said, was rather strange for him.
“I said when I came in, because we came in through the stage, that it was weird being on that side of the stage, because I had grown up seeing people perform here,” he said. “It was kind of nostalgic.”
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