Debbie Owen, Four County Players president and frequent stage manager, updates readers about the Build a Backstage project.

Usually, when I’m working as a stage manager and want to let the cast know when they need to be onstage, I give a “places” call with the number of minutes. But today we’re talking about the number of months before  we embark on our backstage addition! (For more on the history of this project, see the blog posts here and here.)

After years of planning and fundraising, the final pieces are falling into place for a groundbreaking celebration at the end of April. Let me share the highlights with you!



Planning & Design

Behind the scenes: Kerry Moran (architect) and Kevin Gallihugh (builder) are working together to finalize the plans for the 1,800-square-foot addition. This includes conversations with a structural engineer, county planning officials, and various subcontractors.

How YOU can get involved: The BABs committee is excited about the design for the addition, and we want to share it with anyone who wants to take a closer look.  On Saturday, February 23, from 3:00 to 5:00, members of the committee, including the architect, will be available at the theater to answer questions and go over the details of the design. We welcome input on some finishing touches from actors, set builders, stage crews…all those who will be using and benefiting from this space!



Behind the scenes: We are thrilled to announce that we have received an additional grant from the Perry Foundation! As you may recall, Perry’s first grant of $50,000 provided the initial challenge to get our capital campaign off the ground. Now they have offered us funding to get over the finish line. Once Four County Players has raised a total of $245,000 for the Build a Backstage campaign, Perry Foundation will donate the final $30,000 to fully fund the project (based on the current estimate from our builder.) This money will come at a very critical time, allowing us to make sure that we can finish strong.

How YOU can get involved: As of January 31, our fundraising total has passed $220,000! This means we need $25,000 more from YOU to reach the target. Before Christmas, one of our members came to me with a challenge: If every current member of Four County Players gave a gift of $300 to the BABs campaign, we would meet this target and have all the cash needed when we break ground. Will you respond to the Member’s Challenge by making a designated contribution at the Four County Players’ website?



Behind the scenes: We plan to break ground in May, shortly after the spring mainstage production of Hello, Dolly! closes on April 14. As part of the strike of that show, we will start removing materials from the back deck and getting the area ready for demolition and construction. Because our May production, God of Carnage, is in the Cellar, the backstage work can get started without interrupting that show. 

Dates YOU need to know:

April 14: Hello, Dolly! closes; back deck clearing begins

April 28: BABs Groundbreaking; watch for details!

May 10: God of Carnage opens in the Cellar

June TBD: Volunteer Party

June 17: Annual Meeting of the Membership

June 24 – 28: 4CP Summer Theater  Camp; one week only!

July 12 – 27: Shakespeare at the Ruins returns with A Midsummer Night’s Dream

September: Main construction completed; Mainstage available to start set construction for Christmas production.

So much is happening so quickly now, it’s hard to capture everything at once. But I hope you share my excitement as we enter these final months of planning and contemplate the completion of this project. Come join us for the events listed, and be ready when we call places to raise the curtain on our backstage!