2010 dreaming under a new roof

Hi and welcome to the Parkway Playhouse Blog.

With the new year and a blank calendar, the possibilities seem endless and hopeful.  This is one of my favorite times each year- except for the bitter cold!    It is a time of renewal and a time of hope.  According to a recent article I read by Andy Serwer, the editor of Fortune magazine, the last decade was, well, hellish.  As we move into the new year and the new decade, we have high hopes that things can and will get better.  We all dream of better times and at this time of year some of those dreams always feel closer to realization.  Dreams, ideas,  and plans -whether they resolutions for the new year or not- require us to change and change requires effort.   Sam Nash, the current Parkway Playhouse Board President,  likes to remind us all that  “if it is to be, it is because of you and me”. What Sam is talking about is that realizing the changes for the better we want to make in ourselves, our families, our communities are brought about by concerted effort.  You cannot wish change to happen and stop there.

Speaking of changes.  When you come to the theatre this summer, you will be able to see physical change.  Maintaining our historic theatre is one of the most important challenges we have as an organization.    When I arrived I like to tell people the major issues were “heat, seats, and sound”.   We installed some air conditioning in 2005; in 2007 we installed new seats, and over the course of the last 6 years we have added some things to reinforce and amplify sound in the theatre.  The sound issue we have whittled away at for the last few years, but sound equipment is expensive and it is also very difficult to get grants to cover these expenses.  Anyway,  the theatre building is in increasing need of repairs, upgrades, and renovation.  This Spring, we are going to re-roof the building.  This will hopefully cut down on the leaks throughout the building  and the associated water damage that comes with it There are currently places in the building where leaks from the roof have rotted out floors backstage.   A few years ago we had a commode in one of the public restrooms fell through a floor that was rotten from moisture.  In 2010,  The Cannon Foundation and the Phillips Foundation have generously agreed to cover the costs of re-roofing the entire theatre with architectural shingles, which will give the new roof a 30-40 year lifespan.  It is a fabulous gift.

There still is more to do.  The theatre, once considered and promoted as a state of the art facility has antiquated plumbing profoundly inadequate amenities.  We need to continue to chip away at the long list of upgrades and repairs that are needed.  Eventually the theatre is going to have to raise the money to complete the repairs needed and this will cost approximately a million dollars to do.  It is a big dream in these times perhaps.  Some have told us it is impossible but we have no alternative if the theatre is to continue.

I hope you will save room on your blank 2010 calendars for coming to the Parkway Playhouse, look for us to announce our season in just a little bit.  I think we are going to have a great year!


Published by

Andrew Gall

I made some lifelong friends when I was a teenager and had many adult role models who demonstrated how to live a good life. I had no idea how good I had it as a 10 year old kid. Later, I got a lot out of high school and college as I was more curious about the world and my place in it than my teenage social life (which you can deduce as being prettty unexciting). I started two successful theatre companies. I toured the nation. I endured crushing heartbreak when my Mom died shortly after I turned 27. I had a disasterous first marriage -that ended in deep acrimony; and I am raising my two children (from the first marriage)- that now live with me and are on their way to being pretty cool in their own right. I teach for a nationally ranked 2-year college. I run one of the most energetic theatre companies in the state of North Carolina, and just this year- I married the person I have been waiting for my whole life. we are looking forward to the arrival of our first child together this coming Spring.

2 thoughts on “2010 dreaming under a new roof”

  1. Thanks, Andrew, for your interesting, uplifting, and informative blog. I heard on the radio that people spent more money this past year going to movie theaters than the year before. As in the past, when our country is struggling and we feel we can do nothing, many people react by stepping out of the “real world” and into the lives of characters they see on the screen or stage. In Burnsville and the surrounding area the Parkway Playhouse is such an opportunity. Thank you for all your hard work and enthusiasm.

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