COVID threatens to close Mainstage Classic Theater

October 17, 2020
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Photo courtesy of Mainstage Classic Theatre

By Amanda Rogers

Mansfield Record

The show biz saying is that “The show must go on!” but COVID-19 could be what permanently dims the lights for Mainstage Classic Theatre.

The Mansfield theatre group was unable produce this spring’s production of “Alice in Wonderland,” hold summer camp and the summer camp play “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” or produce the big summer musical “Sound of Music.”

And the costs have added up from royalties that were already paid, costume rentals, theater space and costume rental space, plus the loss of revenue from the three canceled productions.

“MCT has had a great run since our beginning in 2008,” said Marty Fredrick, Mainstage’s founder and president. “As Mansfield's community theatre, I honestly believe we have offered Mansfield very professional shows and given area talented actors, musicians, set artists, etc., many opportunities. But the reality is that due to COVID-19 and a huge loss of over $40,000, we cannot continue past January without funding.”

And she doesn’t just need money to continue. Fredrick is looking for new talent to step up to fill spots on the board of directors, plus a treasurer, grant writer and marketing person. She’s looking for people who love and appreciate the arts, she said.

Mainstage currently has six virtual students, and hopes to hold classes at the Farr Best Theater starting in February. The plan is to produce “Disney’s Frozen Jr.” next summer, along with “Sound of Music.”

“We have so many talented people,” Fredrick said. “None of us want to give up working together.

“As everyone knows, we are totally not-for-profit with no paid staff,” she said. “With a grant or corporate sponsorships resulting in more funding, we could hire a business manager to work part time and oversee things with the board. I have had the privilege to work with simply wonderful people who truly care about achieving the best in theatre and more importantly, caring about individuals by encouraging them in a positive way.  I so appreciate the supporters that have helped us through the years and cherish my theatre family.”

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