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OCC Theatre Kicks Off Three-year Fund-raising Campaign

Theatre PhotoThe Olney Central College Theatre kicked off a three-year fund-raising campaign for the Dr. John D. Stull Performing Arts Center last month with its performance of “Curtain Call — A Musical Revue of OCC Theatre.”

The show featured more than 50 people who have appeared in productions spanning the theatre’s 40-year history. Proceeds from the event will aid in reaching the $50,000 fund-raising goal.

“Certain areas of the theatre are very up to date, but there are other areas where we are using obsolete equipment,” said OCC Theatre Director Jon Wright. “We want our shows to be as magical as possible for our audience. We work extremely hard to accomplish that goal, but some of our current equipment doesn’t allow us to do that.”

The facility lacks video or sound monitors backstage, which makes it difficult for performers to follow the show and the new lighting control panel isn’t fully compatible with the building’s older lighting system.

Plans are already being made to add a dual projection system this spring. Audiences will get their first peek at it during the spring production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Due to the stage constraints of the theatre, there are times backdrops and sets are very difficult,” Wright said. “This will allow us to enter the digital world and will make for a better audience experience.”

Wright stressed the improvements will benefit not only the OCC Theatre, but the OCC Band and Choir, Olney Arts Council activities, the Southeastern Illinois Concert Association and area dance studios, which utilize the performing arts center.

“OCC and the OCC Foundation have been wonderful to us, but we are now looking to the community for support,” Wright said. “We will be doing several fund-raisers similar to the Red Skelton salute, which was outstanding. We raised several thousands of dollars through the show. Over the next three years, we will be out in the community asking for donations and sponsorships to make our goal a reality.”

If you are interested in donating to the fund-raising campaign, please contact Wright at 618-395-7777, ext. 2408.

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