Only a month ago, Lee LaChette thought this year would be the final curtain for the Phoenix Performing Arts Centre in Duryea.
“We weren’t sure we would be around next season,” she said.
The owner of the building where Phoenix has resided for 13 years was in talks to sell, and LaChette was scrambling to figure out what to do.
Now, that sale has fallen through, and LaChette and other members of the theater are raising funds to buy the building themselves to keep the performing arts available to children in Greater Pittston.
“It’s an outlet for our kids to showcase their talent,” LaChette said.
The theater, which houses children’s theater camps and productions by Phoenix Kids and adult thespians as part of Phoenix Theatrics, has set a goal of $25,000 in order to make a down payment and pay for closing costs on the building, located at 411 Main St., Duryea.
Through sponsorships and fundraisers, LaChette said they have already raised nearly $22,000.
“We’re so close,” she said.
To keep the theater from being sold, they are selling pieces of the theater, LaChette said. Donors can sponsor specific rooms in the theater, including the green room, dance studio and tech booth, or buy a chair that will be labeled with their name as a testament to their contribution.
“We’ve sold almost everything,” she said. “Every room so far has been sponsored.”
Sponsors also have claimed the front row chairs, but anyone else looking to support the theater can sponsor one of 70 audience seats for $100 each.
“It’s so amazing to see,” LaChette said of the support the theater has received so far. “All of these families are coming together because they want to see arts presented in our community.”
As the theater comes closer and closer to owning its home, LaChette has banners for the upcoming season hanging in the windows. The theater plans to stage several shows, including “Twisted Nutcracker,” “Steel Magnolias,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Rent” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”
“Now we have shows lined up,” she said. “We’re super excited about the season.”