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April 2014

18

Theatre on Main

Local arts would not flourish without community's support

As 2012 has come to an end and 2013 begins, Theatre on Main would like to extend a sincere "thank you" to the community for all of its support this past year. Whether you attended a performance, provided monetary support, donated goods or services, participated in a children's camp or adult workshop, came to a theater-sponsored community event, attended the "Same Time Next Year" Annual Dinner Auction Fundraiser, or "spread the word" about the theater to family and friends, the organization cannot thank you enough.

"Every year that goes by we wonder if we will survive the economic turmoil that has engulfed mainstream America," said Kimm Mann, managing director of Theatre on Main. "The arts have really taken a hit over the past few years due to government cuts in its funding of both school and community programs."

While attendance could always be better, Mann says that it has been consistent and he is very grateful for the support the Lake Country area has given to the theater and its educational programs.

"During times of uncertainty, like what we are experiencing now, people need to relax and find an escape from reality every so often," Mann said. "Patrons know that when they walk through the theater doors, their troubles will disappear for a few hours. We feel very fortunate that we can provide the community with an affordable way to find this much needed respite."

In addition to its six mainstage productions each season, Theatre on Main also houses Stageworks Academy, the educational arm of the organization. The academy currently offers summer classes in all areas of the arts, and hopes to be able to expand its offerings year-round.

"There are so many ways these classes can be beneficial, for both children and adults," said General Manager, Sandy Manfrin. "Aside from learning and improving skills, arts education offers team-building and social interaction. We often have inquiries from parents whose children are home-schooled, as they need to have exposure to the arts as part of their curriculum.

"Eventually we would like to offer sessions specifically designed for this demographic. We had hoped to have this program up and running in 2012, but higher show budgets and unexpected theater expenses did not allow for that."

Manfrin said that Theatre on Main will be asking for corporate sponsorships for the remainder of its 2012-13 season to help defray some of its production costs. "We need to have corporate sponsors just like all of the other theaters around - The Rep, Sunset Playhouse, Waukesha Civic - frankly, I don't know how we've managed to survive eight seasons without it. However, the quality of our productions and the caliber of directors have consistently increased every year and along with that comes higher expenses, so it's time for us to reach out."

The remaining shows in Theatre on Main's 2012-13 season are "Jesus Christ Superstar," running March 7-24; "Spring Awakening" showing May 2-19; and "Chicago" playing July 11-28.

Mann said, "It takes a large amount of revenue to keep this venue operating, and the community's continued support of Theatre on Main and the academy is not just appreciated, but it is a necessity. So once again, we would like to thank Oconomowoc and the surrounding areas for their support during 2012, and we ask for their continued support for the remainder of our 2012-13 season. We truly need the community's backing."

For more information on corporate sponsorships of Theatre on Main, or its programming, please call Manfrin at (262) 853-7628 or send a message to mainstreettheatre@gmail.com.

Donations may be made on the theatre's website at www.theatreonmain.org, or by sending a check to theater on Main, PO Box 144, Oconomowoc, WI 53066.

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