A year of planning and work has culminated in many renovations to the Webster City Community Theatre building on Willson Avenue. The theatre has created more storage, workspace, dressing rooms and installed new auditorium seating with funds raised through community donations, but needs one final push to finish the renovations.
The theatre announced this week that they are asking for donations to gather $20,000 to complete the building's renovations. Items to complete include lower-level dressing rooms, attic air conditioning,, exterior siding, gutters and downspouts, landscaping and the parking lot.
WCCT volunteer Al Yungclas said the theatre encountered a couple obstacles on their way to completing the renovations. The theatre had to get new water service into the building, and Yungclas said the City had the wrong information about where the water line was. As a result, they had to do a lot of digging to find it. The theatre also had to replace a furnace, which cost upward of $15,000 to replace.
Webster City Community Theatre volunteer Al Yungclas examines one of the many items in the theatre building’s new clothing and costume storage space. The building has had ongoing renovation for about a year, and the new storage area offers three times the space of the old building.
Several theatre volunteers are helping the fundraiser in a big way. Loween and Doug Getter and Marjorie and Wil Groves said they will match every dollar donated to the theatre for this fundraising drive up to $10,000. They will match donated money until the fundraising deadline of June 15. Yungclas said that once the $20,000 is raised, the final renovations could be done in a few weeks if weather permits.
"We decided to issue this challenge based in part on comments offered in scholarship applications from area seniors," Loween Getter said. "The addition we are completing today will provide opportunities now and for generations of theatre lovers."
The renovations have already made a big difference at the theatre. Yungclas said that the room that now stores clothing and costumes for the theatre is three times the size of the old storage space used. The theatre also has twice as much room backstage to use. While Yungclas said the theatre has had smaller casts in their recent plays, the space will be much less cramped for larger productions.
"When we have a group of 60 people like we did for 'Music Man," it's going to make a huge difference," Yungclas said. "Because we have to keep the cast and props backstage, and sometimes, there's not room for both."
The fundraising campaign is only the second in the theatre's 45-year history. It is being held in part because the theatre is holding fast to its goal of completing the building renovations without incurring debt.
Donations can be mailed to Webster City Community Theatre, attention Dan Ryherd, treasurer at P.O. Box 272, Webster City, IA 50595. All donations are tax deductible. The theatre is always accepting donations of clothing or costumes, and welcomes anyone interested in volunteering.