Volunteers were hard at work on Saturday, January 19, at 198 West Broadway, sweeping, mopping, cleaning, installing seats, in preparation for the production of Next to Normal that will open with a "black tie optional" gala on Friday, January 25, in downtown Eugene. Next to Normal is a recent award-winning musical built around the theme of living strategies, relationships, and effects of dealing with a "clinical" bi-polar (what used to be called "manic-depressive") condition of a family member.
[Here's a "scoop" without the "spoiler" - a significant change will be announced (may have been already by the time you are reading this) that will not change the operation, but will have a significant effect on the profile and public perception of the organization.]
As a committed partner in Eugene's effort to "revitalize downtown," the theater has received several sizable grants (it is no longer a private business, but now operates as a non-profit with a board of directors guiding business and development decisions), including this one (see link). (n.b., this is not the scoop, or the spoiler)
It does not seem feasible that the remodel will be completed in time, and patrons will be in a work-in-progress, safe and comfortable, but probably with final painting, carpeting, trim work, and such frills and icing-on-the-cake not fully completed. The full glory of the finished project is something to look forward to at your next attendance.
While a large crew was "policing" clean-up details in the "house," a small group was busy in the office/rehearsal space next door, building three-foot "jumpers," short cables for connecting lighting instruments to circuits (or other cables), cannibalizing existing cables by removing "edison" plugs, and installing "stage" plugs ("male" on one end, "female" on the other). One volunteer, Nick Prazniak, has a role in "The Beaux' Stratagem," a Springfield Academy of Arts and Academics production currently at the Wildish Theatre in Springfield, and had to watch the clock to get to his call in Springfield on time.
The video below features another business, a construction firm, that is part of the revitalization effort.
Performance schedule and tickets can be obtained at the theater's website. City-owned parking garages are open half a block from the theater so there's plenty of parking available. Don't miss this excellent chance to participate in the revitalization of downtown Eugene.
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