DOVER-FOXCROFT – Cutting energy costs and protecting the environment while also making patrons more comfortable are the goals of a $100,000 project underway over the past year at Center Theatre, according to Patrick Myers, executive director. In 2014, the theater obtained funding from Grants to Green Maine to conduct an assessment of the heating, cooling, and electrical upgrades necessary to make the theater more energy efficient and comfortable. “Based on the strength of that audit, we applied for and were awarded a $50,000 implementation grant, and we are in the midst of that work now,” said Myers. The bulk of the work is to address air infiltration and insulation issues. “When the building was constructed back in the 1940s, energy efficiency wasn’t on anyone’s mind, and even 15 years ago when the building was renovated, it was not in the forefront of anyone’s minds. We have a lot of air infiltration and leakage around the building that is costing us thousands of dollars every year in energy costs.”
In 2015, spaces around the lobby and basement of the building were sealed with foam insulation. “We saw a significant improvement in the lobby temperature last winter after that work was done,” said Myers. “I only had to turn my space heater on once or twice.” Still on the “to-do” list are sealing the spaces around the auditorium, and converting many of the theater’s light fixtures to LED. “We hope to have all of these projects completed by the end of this summer,” said Myers. If enough funding remains, the addition of heat pumps in the auditorium and backstage, and an upgrade in circulator pumps to increase efficiency of existing heating and cooling systems will also be considered.
Grants to Green Maine is a partnership between the Maine Community Foundation and the Maine Downtown Center, which is a program of the Maine Development Foundation. Center Theatre is required to match the $50,000, and has obtained two $10,000 grants, one each from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation and from the Maine Betterment Fund, toward that goal. Steve Wintle, of the Facilities Management Group, conducted the efficiency assessment and, “has been very involved throughout the process,” said Myers.
The Center Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts center dedicated to making the arts a part of life in the Maine Highlands. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the theater reopening its doors to produce affordable entertainment, arts and education, making this project especially timely, said Myers. “While we are certainly looking forward to energy savings and a financial return on this project, we are also excited to improve the comfort of our facility for our patrons for the next decade of performances and beyond,” Myers said.
For more information on the Theatre or its programming, or to offer support toward the $50,000 match, call the Center Theatre at 564-8943, stop by their 20 East Main Street location between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, or visit centertheatre.org.
Three recordings of live opera performances captured on film will be shown at the Center Theatre this summer. Mark your calendars now, because each performance will run only once, during the 2 p.m. matinee on Sundays June 26, July 24, and August 28. Discounts are available for guests purchasing tickets to multiple shows.
In June, the Center Theatre brings the Verdi Requiem Legends Concert to the stage. Originally performed at La Scala in 1967, this production with the orchestra and chorus of the Teatro alla Scala was presented in Moscow, Montreal and New York, in addition to Milan. It was recorded on 35 mm film in 1967, with the young Luciano Pavarotti replacing Carlo Bergonzi. Together with Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” Verdi’s “Requiem” ranks as one of the two supreme achievements in 19th-century liturgical music. This is a highly dramatic and emotional work, though not theatrical, due to Verdi’s specification that it “must not be sung the way an opera is sung.”
In July, the four-act La Damnation De Faust comes to the Center Theatre stage. Recorded in 2015, this tale, sung in French, followings the aging scholar Faust down into depression and near suicide, and further still, when the Devil offer him a journey, promising him the restoration of his youth, knowledge, and the fulfillment of all his wishes. The ensuing journey includes love, abandonment, and a deal with the Devil that leads Faust into the depths of Hell.
The August performance of Carmen is based on a novel with the same title. This four-act opera lasts slightly over three hours, with one intermission, and was recorded live in 2015 at the Ancient Greek Theater of Taormina, on the Italian island of Sicily. Carmen is a tale of passion, manipulation, and ultimately, murder.
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring these world-class performances here to central Maine,” said Patrick Myers, executive director of the Center Theatre. “We’re hoping that the three movies in this series will be well received and we’ll be able to bring more performances like this to Dover-Foxcroft.”
Tickets are $8 for one movie; $12 for two movies; or $18 for all three movies. The Center Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts center dedicated to making the arts a part of life in the Maine Highlands. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Center Theatre reopening its doors to produce affordable entertainment, arts and education.
For more information on the Theatre or its programming, call the Center Theatre at 564-8943, stop by their 20 East Main Street location between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, or visit centertheatre.org.
The Center Theatre has been awarded $2,700 from the Maine Community Foundation’s Piscataquis County Fund. The grant dollars will be used to build board and staff capacity, according to Patrick Myers, the theater’s executive director.
“We’ll be using the support to send members of our staff and board to various trainings and workshops this year. It will help to educate new board members about the role and responsibilities of nonprofit board members,” said Myers. “And for the staff, we’re looking at volunteer management, social media and marketing, as well as nonprofit management as areas in which to provide training.”
The Maine Community Foundation has a long history of supporting the Center Theatre via grants from various funds. “They’ve supported us through the purchase of energy-efficient LED spotlights, helped us grow our community theater, supported our drama camp, and were instrumental in beginning our Endowment Fund,” said Myers.
“As we celebrate out 10 th Anniversary, we are very grateful to the Maine Community Foundation and the Piscataquis County Fund for their generous support over the past decade,” Myers said. “This most recent grant is just another testimony to their commitment to our community. This grant will support training for our staff and board that will ensure that the Center Theatre remains vibrant and sustainable for many more years.”
The Center Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts center dedicated to making the arts a part of life in the Maine Highlands. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Center Theatre reopening its doors to produce affordable entertainment, arts and education. For more information on the Theatre or its programming, call the Center Theatre at 564-8943, stop by their 20 East Main Street location between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays, or visit centertheatre.org.
DOVER-FOXCROFT – Center Theatre’s Summer Drama Camp sessions are scheduled for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. from July 11-22 and August 1-12 at the East Sangerville Grange. Each session wraps up with an evening performance at Center Theatre, open to the public, with admission by donation.
New this year, through a partnership with the Piscataquis Regional YMCA, an afternoon adventure camp will be offered immediately following drama camp each day, with pickup between 5-5:30 p.m.
“Y staff will take over and keep the kids busy all afternoon with games and activities,” said Patrick Myers, executive director of the Center Theatre. “We might even squeeze in a trip to the beach!”
The drama camp coordinator is Beth MacNeil. David Murray is directing “The Fairy Tale Network” by John Woodward during session one, which is geared more toward younger children with less experience. Bobby Keniston authored and will direct “Totally Terrific Tall Tales” during session two, which is aimed at older campers with more experience. “But there will be plenty of opportunities for all ages in both sessions,” said Myers.
The oldest of all Center Theatre programs, Drama Camp has been running every summer for nearly two decades. The East Sangerville Grange has been a sponsor since day one. Over the years, numerous local children and summer residents have attended the camp – many returning year after year.
Classes are open to children from Kindergarten through the ninth grade. The wide range of ages provides unique educational moments and opportunities for growth for all students. Center Theatre is also seeking high school students interesting in being drama camp interns in return for valuable work experience, community service hours, and the chance to have a lot of fun!
The goal for drama camp is to immerse children in many exciting aspects of theater, including team building, improvisation, theater games, exercises, music and dance. The belief that creativity and cooperation are as important as the final production is central to this camp experience, which is focused on learning, interaction, and enjoyment.
The Center Theatre is a nonprofit performing arts center dedicated to making the arts a part of life in the Maine Highlands. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Center Theatre reopening its doors to produce affordable entertainment, arts and education. Drama camp costs $250 for the first child, $225 for each additional sibling, and $475 for one child in both sessions. The afternoon Y Camp costs $200 per session per child; $160 for Y members. A $100 deposit is required per child at the time of registration. Some scholarships are available.
Registration and internship forms can be picked up at Center Theatre, or downloaded from the Center Theatre website, www.centertheatre.org. For more information, call Center Theatre, 564-8943, or stop by their 20 East Main Street location between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on weekdays.