Weston Theatre Company's Capital Campaign Gains Ground
The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company's $10 million campaign - Growing the Arts at Walker Farm - can be a game changer for Southern Vermont, Campaign Chair Wayne Granquist said today. "We are creating a unique project with local, regional and national benefits," Granquist continued. "It offers a great deal for Southern Vermont. It will also provide significant new year-round cultural and entertainment opportunities while helping our young people and strengthening our economy."
Anchoring the effort is a $6 million new, year-round, 140-seat Studio Theatre that will replace the Weston Rod & Gun Club as Weston's second stage and complement the Weston Playhouse, where larger musicals and plays will continue to be staged throughout the summer. The theatre will be built on the 5-acre former Walker farmstead on Route 100 a few hundred yards north of the Weston village center.
An equally important part of the campaign is the creation of $1.5 million Fund for the American Theatre, which will support a program that brings nationally known directors and producers to Weston to develop new works, learn from others and recharge their batteries. And a $500,000 Education Endowment will benefit local school children and summer interns.
"Excitement and good will are growing as people learn more about our plans," Granquist said. "We will have a presence at Farmers' Markets this summer; we have signage at the Walker Farm, and we're leading walking tours of the site so folks can see what and where we'll be building." On the national scene, Philip Himberg, Artistic Director at the Sundance Theatre Program, has called the Weston Playhouse "one of the cultural jewels of the northeast," and predicts that the year-round residency for playwrights and composers "will brilliantly augment our artistic landscape."
More than half of the $10 million goal has been reached, and the theatre company plans to break ground in the spring of 2015 and open the theatre in 2016.
For more information about the project or campaign, to contribute to the campaign or to tour the Walker site, visit westonplayhouse.org/tomorrow or contact Managing Director Lesley Koenig at 802-824-8167 extension 103.
Photo: Architect's rendering of Weston's Future Studio Theatre at Walker Farm