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It s on with the show for Maumee s art council as it forms a new community theater group in anticipation of the grand reopening of a local landmark.
Following a recent informational meeting that was attended by 30 to 40 people, the Maumee Council for the Arts is setting up committees that will work out details of the new theater group.
“We re pretty excited,” said Tom Wagner, president of the Council for the Arts, about the turnout at the meeting. In addition, more than 30 people have called or e-mailed him, indicating interest in participating in a theater group.
“The timing is excellent,” he said. Soon, the city will have two new facilities that could be used by a local theater troupe: the Maumee Indoor Theater and the performing arts center at Maumee High School.
The indoor theater, owned by the city, is being renovated as an entertainment venue and is scheduled to reopen in May. Planning is under way for the new performing arts center at the high school. The center might open in spring of 2005.
“It s been about 30 years since there was theater in Maumee. It is time to do something,” Mr. Wagner said.
It s not known yet where the theater group would perform, Mr. Wagner said. It could be the Maumee Indoor and/or the performing arts center, but he noted that it could be neither. “We do not know how much it will cost to rent the [indoor] theater,” he said.
Churches and schools in the city might house the new theater group, he said.
Meanwhile, the arts council is applying for an Ohio Arts Council grant to help offset costs to establish the theater group. Eventually, the Maumee Council for the Arts would like to offer classes as a community service, Mr. Wagner said.
Area residents who attended the informational session last week were asked to fill out forms indicating their skills, interests, and experience, said Natalie Scarlett, a member of the arts council s board of trustees.
Many at the meeting were interested in working behind the scenes to help out the theater group, she said.
“I am an actor. I thought there would be more interested in acting, but it is good to have a lot of behind the scenes” participants, Miss Scarlett said.
Based on the information, committees will be set up.
“We hope to have the committees formed by the end of April,” said Miss Scarlett, a 16-year-old Maumee resident who takes post-secondary classes at the University of Toledo and Owens Community College. “I sing, dance, write,” she said.
Plans call for rehearsals for the first show to start at the end of the summer, and for the first show to be staged in the fall. The arts council would like to present at least three performances each year.
“We want to do a drama or comedy for the play, a musical, and a children s show with children in it,” Miss Scarlett said.
Some funds already have been raised by the arts council for the community theater effort, she noted, through such activities as sponsoring the Wacky Walleye public art display along city streets.
Kirk Kern, commissioner of community development for Maumee, said the city isn t booking activities yet at the indoor theater, but the Maumee Senior Center is interested in holding a senior showcase there in May.