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A Maryland Theatre for 'all ages'

March 24, 2006

Brian Sullivan, the new executive director of The Maryland Theatre, struck all the right notes in Wednesday's "State of the Theatre" address.

It is a theater for the arts and for the ages - all ages, he said. He said he plans to schedule a variety of activities that will feature local performers and make the theater a place where families can spend time together enjoying shows.

Sullivan also plans classes in backstage technology and stagecraft and plans an awards ceremony to honor achievements by local high school performers.

What wasn't much touched on Wednesday was the need for community support for the theater. Opening the doors to community organizations is a great idea to build community and aid in the revitalization of downtown Hagerstown.

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But there is a cost every time those doors are opened. And ongoing maintenance has its price as well.

If Sullivan and his board of directors have not started on this, we recommend that they plan an annual fundraiser, such as Washington County Hospital's Festival of Trees. Create an event that will entice all who say they support the theater to buy tickets.

Sullivan also must make it easier for those who want to support the theater to buy annual memberships. It should be as easy to buy a membership online as it is now to purchase tickets.

Sullivan's plans and his enthusiasm seem to be just what the theater needs. If the community can help with funding, his dreams for the facility and the community's hopes should have no problem becoming a reality.

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