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Theatre West Virginia rebounds from tough times

Aug. 06, 2014 @ 02:27 PM

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — Theatre West Virginia has rebounded from tough financial times and is looking forward to next year's season.

This year's shortened season drew more than 5,000 visitors to 17 performances of the outdoor historical drama "Hatfields and McCoys" at Cliffside Amphitheatre at Grandview, The Register-Herald reported.

In past seasons, the theater company performed both "Hatfields and McCoys" and another historical drama, "Honey in the Rock." The company also had performed Broadway productions and productions aimed at children.

Theatre West Virginia had ceased operations in September 2013 because of financial problems. The Legislature allocated $125,000 for the organization this year.

General manager Scott Hill said the organization's board plans to meet next week to discuss this year's successes and ways to improve upon them next year.

"This year we were just holding on. Next year, we will grow," he told the newspaper.

Along with keeping the organization alive, this year's season gave back almost $5,000 to local charities through a weekly event called "Pay What You Wish Wednesday." Visitors were invited to give any amount they wanted, from $1 to $1,000. Half of the proceeds went to the theater and the other went to local charities, including the Humane Society of Raleigh County, Just For Kids and Hospice of Southern West Virginia.

Suzan Loving, a member of the Humane Society's board of directors, said the organization was grateful not only for the donation but also for the opportunity to spread the word about animals in need in the community.

The theater plans to continue "Pay What You Wish Wednesdays" next season, said Keith Thompson, a member of the Theatre West Virginia board.

"Not only were we able to give back to local charities, but it gave many who wouldn't have been able to afford the show otherwise an opportunity to see the production," Thompson told the newspaper.

 

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