After a year of canceled in-person shows and creative fundraising efforts, Temple Civic Theatre officials are now looking forward to starting a new season.
The theatre was forced to close last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, resorting to fundraising and small, low-cost productions that they have been putting out online. The organization is now planning a return to shows in September, with ticket sales and auditions starting sometime in the summer.
TCT President Gary Gosney said the theatre has been able to raise money from the community during the pandemic, helping it pay its debts and upgrade some equipment.
“People showed their support and it was incredible, the number of people who have helped the theatre stay alive and viable,” Gosney said. “We want to have a base (of money) that we never touch so if the air conditioning goes out we can get it fixed.”
Due to the donations, Gosney said the theatre has been able to build up savings of about $200,000. He said this money will be used to ensure the quality of future productions and pay for production costs instead of having to wait for ticket sales.
Gosney said the theatre is now debt free, only having to pay monthly costs such as water and electric bills.
On top of paying its debts, Gosney said the theatre also has used the money its raised to upgrade its sound and lighting systems.
Gosney said the theatre stopped trying to put on its productions, both small and large since they were hard to put on and didn’t allow the organization to make its money back.
When productions do resume in September, Gosney said the theatre plans on putting on larger shows such as “Guys and Dolls”.
“We decided to not try and do small productions anymore,” Gosney said. “We decided the best thing we can do is wait until we have a full audience. The kind of shows we like to do are our pretty big shows and if we can’t get a quality number of folks in there we can’t pay for the show.”
Gosney said that while the theatre has been able to open, and masks will soon not be required, the organization plans to wait until more people are vaccinated.
Currently, Gosney said, the theatre is looking to get its children’s theatre up and going along with a production of short videos over the summer. He said the first of these videos would be interviews with local theatre members.
The only thing the theatre needs now is more people to get vaccinated.
“We are really in the best shape we have been in, in years,” Gosney said. “We are up and ready to get started, and we are hoping against hope that by September this coronavirus fear is over with and we are going to be on top of things.”