Friday, July 10, 2009

Loonfoot Falls Community Theater: Recycling Keeps Them in the Green

I caught Flora Ellert, Loonfoot Falls Community Theater's Dramatics Director, in a talkative mood this week. LFCT has been working on this summer's show: something called "Magic: A Fantastic Comedy."

That play wasn't what we talked about, though. I'd mentioned that the LFCT hadn't done a musical since "Doctor Jekyll, Please Don't Hyde!" in 2004.

Flora Ellert didn't say what that musical's royalties were, but I learned that stage musicals can cost between $250 and $500 for each performance - just for the right to use a script and music. Comedies and dramas, she told me, run around $65 for opening night and $35 a show after that. Then there's the matter of paying for each copy of the script, or a fee for the right to make photocopies.

"Sure: It's fun; it's art. It's business, too, sort of," she explained. Loonfoot Falls Community Theater is a non-profit outfit, with everybody volunteering their time. But, she pointed out, besides the royalties there's rental for the rehearsal and performance space, and generally some expense for sets, props, and costumes.

"We save quite a bit on our sets. Einar Johnson's something of a genius when it comes to re-using materials each year," Flora explained. Einar created Dr. Jekyll's laboratory out of pieces of sets for a Victorian sitting room, an apartment's kitchen, and PVC pipe that's been ship's rigging, trees in Sherwood Forest, a telescope and lamp posts.

Frances Robinson applies the same recycling principles to the theater's costumes. But that's another topic.

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