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KC Rep Spencer Theatre Capital Campaign Exceeds Goal


Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KC Rep) today announced that the capital campaign to renovate Spencer Theatre has exceeded its $5 million goal by $667,176. Spencer Theatre is the main stage of Kansas City Repertory Theatre and is located in UMKC's James C. Olson Performing Arts Center. The Spencer Theatre ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Friday, Nov. 20th at 8:30am in the newly renovated lobby. Press is welcome to attend. Private tours of Spencer Theatre before the ceremony are available to the media by appointment.

Angela Lee Gieras, executive director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre, said, "We are grateful for the leadership of the donors who have contributed so generously to the success of the Spencer Theatre renovation. Because of their commitment to theatre excellence, we were able to surpass our goal and create an unparalleled patron experience. The success of this renovation campaign will enable us to serve UMKC and our audiences, artists and advocates for generations to come."

KC Rep and UMKC will be joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony by a group of students from DeLaSalle Education Center. KC Rep has partnered with DeLaSalle for over 10 years conducting Rep on the Road residencies and a semester long after-school drama club with students at this alternative school. DeLaSalle students have seen many KC student matinee performances over the years at both the Spencer Theatre and Copaken Stage. At the end of the school year, the participating students present their work in a public performance, a performance which is frequently held on Spencer Stage. One of these students has been selected to cut the ribbon at our ceremony. Following the ribbon cutting, the students from DeLaSalle will join over 500 student matinee attendees at KC Rep's first performance of A Christmas Carol, the first production in the newly renovated theatre.

Ellen and Irv Hockaday, chairs of the 50th Anniversary Celebration project, stated, "The successful completion of the KC Rep's 50th anniversary renovation campaign is an important and noteworthy accomplishment. This achievement enables KC Rep, under the artistic direction of Eric Rosen, to combine superior dramatic productions performed in a state-of-the-art theater, with exceptional audience enhancement and educational programs. That combination will be unsurpassed anywhere in our nation."

The Spencer Theatre renovations will enhance the audience experience and include the new lighting and acoustic design; a new stage floor; and 5,500-square-feet of new construction, including new restrooms, second floor lounge, and a beautiful expansion of the lobby of the performing arts center. Prior to this renovation, little had been done to modernize the space since it opened in 1979.

Fundraising for the $5.5 million renovation of Spencer Theatre and lobby has raised $5,667,176 to date, according to officials with Kansas City Repertory Theatre and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Foundation. KC Rep's 50th Anniversary Celebration capital campaign goal of $5 million was surpassed this past February and as design work continued on the project, KC Rep elected to raise the fundraising goal to $5.5 million. This allowed KC Rep to truly transform its main stage theatre in order to meet contemporary audiences' expectations. The upgrades include new carpet and chair coverings inside the theatre, technology upgrades throughout the lobby, permanent signage on the exterior of the building, and enhanced sound equipment and new headsets for the theatre's assisted listening system. The renovations are expected to be completed in time for Kansas City Repertory Theatre's 2015 production of A Christmas Carol.

In addition to the Hall Family Foundation's $3 million lead gift, commitments to the project include major gifts from:

· David Beals Charitable Trust, Bank of America

· DeBruce Foundation

· Gary Dickinson Family Charitable Foundation

· Donald J. Hall

· Laura and David Hall

· Nancy P. and Robert W. Hatch

· Ellen and Irv Hockaday

· Linda and Topper Johntz

· Marion and Henry Bloch Family Foundation

· Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation

· Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation

· Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts - Commerce Bank, Trustee

· The Sosland Foundation

· Stinson Leonard Street LLP

· The Sunderland Foundation

· Bert and Sue Trucksess

· Victor E. and Caroline E. Schutte Foundation

· William T. Kemper Foundation - Commerce Bank, Trustee

About Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Kansas City Repertory Theatre, one of the nation's oldest and most respected regional theaters, is the center of a great theatre town. KC Rep produces theatrical excellence, creating and sharing stories at the center of our nation's creative crossroads. KC Rep's mission is to advance the art form while cultivating passionate audiences, artists, and advocates to invest in our region's creative future. We build community by connecting people through productions and outreach that educate, entertain, challenge and inspire. Lauded by The Wall Street Journal, TIME magazine, Variety and The Toronto Sun, KC Rep produces mainstage plays and special events at Spencer Theatre, where it serves as the professional theatre in residence at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), and Copaken Stage located in downtown Kansas City. KC Rep employs more than 250 professional artists, technicians and administrators, and serves more than 100,000 patrons and 12,000 school children annually. Kansas City Repertory Theatre is led by Artistic Director Eric Rosen and Executive Director Angela Lee Gieras.

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