Playhouse on Park Celebrates Successful Gala

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Playhouse on Park Celebrates Successful Gala

"Never before have I felt so much love and support from so many people," said Darlene Zoller, Playhouse on Park's co-artistic director and co-founder, of its 10th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser, which took place just last Saturday at the Gershon Fox Ballroom in Hartford.

Playhouse friends, supporters, board and staff members, and former cast and crew that were in attendance brought with them an energy of excitement, love, and support that lasted the entire night. The cocktail hour featured live music from a jazz trio. Guests also participated in a silent auction. Everything in the silent auction was theatre related - from an autographed poster of Billy Porter to Broadway Theatre Tickets (Hamilton, Ain't To Proud, Beautiful), VIP Tickets for Jason Robert Brown in Concert, Skype sessions with Broadway performers and tickets to local theaters and restaurants all over CT and more!

After guests were ushered to their seats, Playhouse co-founder and Executive Director Tracy Flater gave opening remarks and were then joined by her partners, co-founders and co-artistic directors Sean Harris and Darlene Zoller. All three founders were met with a standing ovation as they thanked everyone for their continued support. The founders awarded Ryan Bell with the inaugural Playhouse on Park Star Award in recognition of and appreciation for his extraordinary dedication and exemplary service. Bell was the theater's Production Manager throughout the first five seasons. On behalf of West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor, emeritus board member Chuck Coursey presented an official proclamation to the three founders, as a testament to the artistic and cultural impact of the theater in its community.

The night continued with performances from seasons past, featuring fan favorites like Cabaret, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Young Audience Series Mashup, Hair, and In The Heights. Performers were backed by Melanie Guerin and Daryl Belcher on piano and drums, respectively. The night wrapped with dessert and casual cabaret performances from attendees.

Broadway actor and longtime Playhouse supporter Veanne Cox hosted a live auction. The money that was raised from attendees was matched by The Richard P. Garmany Fund at The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. Nearly $100,000 was raised for the Playhouse.

The Honorary Chairs of the 10th Anniversary Gala were: Bob and Frankie Goldfarb, Jeffrey and Nancy Hoffman and Richard and Lea Rubenstein, plus a Gala Committee.

Sponsors included: Bob and Frankie Goldfarb, Jeffrey and Nancy Hoffman, Richard and Lea Rubenstein, Hartford Business Journal, LAZ Parking, Falcetti Pianos, Power Station Events, Dornenburg | Kallenbach Advertising, Patrick and Carol McCabe, Blum Shapiro, Pullman and Comley, Companions for Living,, Plymouth Springs Company, Keating Insurance Agency, Jules and Maureen Gaudreau, Ron and Ruth Van Winkle and Gaetano Albani and Jayne Dean.

Zoller went on to comment on the festivities: "The Playhouse on Park 10th Anniversary Gala was truly a night to remember. Attendees, past cast members and volunteers alike made it clear that we are doing important work and it gave me the motivation I need to continue on this journey. [We're] looking forward to the future of the Playhouse."

Managed under the Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc, Playhouse on Park is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Ticket sales only cover 50% of what it takes to run the arts organization. The remainder is raised through individual donations, foundation grants, sponsorship and fundraising events like this 10th Anniversary Gala. If you missed out on the celebration but would still like to donate, checks may payable to Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc.

To learn more about Season 11 and all of its shows, classes, and special events, please visit or call the box office at 860-523-5900 x10. Playhouse on Park is located at 244 Park Road, West Hartford CT 06119.

Photo courtesy Meredith Longo

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