Wayside Theatre to host town hall meeting to answer questions of future

^ Posted Feb. 6

Daily Staff Report

Wayside Theatre Board president Dr. Byron Brill and Artistic Director Warner Crocker announced Wednesday that a town hall-style meeting will take place at Wayside Theatre on Feb. 20.

The event will begin informally at 6:30 p.m. in the Curtain Call Café at 7853 Main St., Middletown. The meeting then will move into the auditorium at 7 p.m. for a brief presentation of Wayside's current and future plans, followed by a question and answer session.

According to a press release, attendees may ask questions of Crocker and of board members.The event will be moderated by Malcolm Barr and Wayside encourages anyone interested in the venue's current and future plans to attend, the release states.

Wayside has experienced financial difficulties over the last few years, primarily since starting renovations in 2007. Last year it ran a 90-day effort to raise funds to help finish paying off bills it still struggled to pay since renovating. Then on Jan. 6, Wayside announced another emergency 90-day effort, this one to raise $90,000 by the end of March before deciding whether or not it would consider closing.

In the release, Crocker was quoted as saying, "Our current campaign to keep Wayside Theatre alive and seek the ongoing funding we need to sustain its mission is going well. We've raised over $38,000 in the fifth week of the campaign, and have been very grateful for the support we have received so far. We are also grateful for the tough conversations we've been having with a number of supporters who have questions about the future of Wayside Theatre, and we look forward to those continuing. The reality is that many of those who care about Wayside Theatre have questions about whether or not the theatre's mission is sustainable, where support comes from, and how we manage operations. It is our aim to provide an open forum for these issues to be discussed with this meeting."

For more information, call the box office at 540-869-1776 or visit www.waysidetheatre.org.

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