MOVP hopes to raise $5,000

The Mid-Ohio Valley Players Theatre is turning to the community for support during a month-long pledge drive, which will continue through Aug. 23.

The all-volunteer, nonprofit community theater launched the pledge drive, asking for any amount of donations, beginning July 26.

Through many financial ups and downs and changes in leadership, members of the community theater are making calls directly for support to fund repairs and future shows.

“I made this suggestion of conducting a pledge drive because it gives our members an opportunity to call and remind the community how important they are to our success and to thank them for their ongoing support,” said MOVP President JR Wells. “The community has shown the theater that it is important to them and that it is truly a community theater.”

Donors can send checks through the mail in any amount to its Putnam Street theater and box office, as leaders say any amount is helpful.

Wells said the drive is necessary to be able to continue to provide quality productions, which include five per season and two youth productions, and to maintain and operate the nearly 100-year-old theater.

“For us the pledge drive is about more than getting money,” said Vice President Kermit Polan.

Polan said though it is true that the 100-year-old building, paid off and completely owned by the theater group, is expensive to maintain because of its age, creating visibility with the community is just as important.

“We have been wanting to open a dialogue with the community, and the pledge drive is a way to start that,” he said.

Wells said the initial goal for the pledge was $5,000, but in just the first day of making phone calls, the theater raised nearly half.

“That’s really what we need for operating and maintenance,” he said. “I actually think we’ll go over our goal, which would be wonderful, but I would just be happy to meet it.”

Theater members agreed that response was positive so far, as Wells said adding the personal touch of talking to the community directly can make all the difference.

“In one afternoon we were reminded that we live in a generous and caring community, a community that wants to keep community theater alive, and we would like to thank all who have already pledged to us,” he said. “The theater will be using the funds raised to help run both youth programs and to continue to do needed repairs on the theater.”

The Mid-Ohio Valley Players’ next show is its youth theater performance of Fiddler on the Roof, Jr., which opens Friday and continues throughout the weekend.

“We think this production is going to be pretty big, and we actually think this time we will be able to pack the house,” Wells said.

Contributions to the pledge drive can be sent to MOVP 229 Putnam St., P.O. Box 814, Marietta.