Totem Pole Playhouse surpasses fundraising goal to ensure a 2013 season

October 03, 2012|By ROXANN MILLER |

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. — The show will go on for the Totem Pole Playhouse as supporters surpassed the playhouse’s fundraising goal by more than $80,000.

With $334,000 in the bank, Managing Director Sue McMurtray said there will be a 2013 season.

“I am so pleased that so many people found the value in Totem Pole that I know is there and showed that in their donations,” said Dana Witt, chairwoman of the Totem Pole board of directors. “I am so grateful to them for stepping forward and giving us the opportunity to continue to bring great theater to Pennsylvania.”

On Aug. 29, the playhouse’s board of directors set a goal to raise $250,000 by Oct. 1, to guarantee there will be a 2013 season.

Witt said the board is working on a business plan to ensure the theater is on solid financial footing for years to come.

“We want to ensure there is a 2014, 2015 season and beyond,” she said.

“We have great hopes (for the playhouse) with the overwhelming support that we found from the community in the campaign,” Witt said.

“Voting with their checkbooks, people in the Cumberland Valley clearly cast their votes to keep Totem Pole Playhouse,” McMurtray said.

With this new money, the theater will be presenting shows unlike any seen at Totem Pole in the past, said McMurtray.

For the first time in more than 40 years, the playhouse will offer a seven-show season consisting of three comedies and four musicals — one with a cast of more than 30 performers.

“Many Tony award-winning shows or shows by Tony award-winning writers will excite audiences enjoying the expanded 2013 season,” McMurtray said.

Artistic Director Ray Ficca said bigger and better shows will cost more to produce than the smaller shows of recent years.

But, there will be tickets to fit every budget, from $9.50 up to $69.50 for the big musicals. Season tickets to all seven shows will range from $176.50 to $390.  A 50 percent discount is being offered to anyone younger than 22 to introduce them to the playhouse, Ficca said.

Planning for the 2013 season is in the final stages and the season lineup will be announced in November, he said. Tickets will go on sale in December.

“We have never been happier to say, ‘See you at the Playhouse!”’ Ficca said.

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