Local theater group wants its shows to go on

Stillwater Downtown Theatre starts raising funds for 2013 events

Stillwater Downtown Theatre organizers want to bring three new events to the city early next year. It just depends on finding the funds to do it.

Theater organizers plan on bringing vintage and independent films, along with live musical concerts and theatre performances to Stillwater to reinforce the importance of art in the community.

The group recently decided they wanted to raise money for a series of events early next year.

“The board said that we should do three shows instead of one, which would be smarter because then we could sell season tickets,” said group member Norm Steere.  “We’re in the middle of raising $6,000 right now.”

The group is responsible for bringing in Bob DeFlores, a nationally known video archivist, who brought some of Bing Crosby’s home movies to Stillwater in March. The upcoming events the group is planning also involve works from DeFlores’ video collection.

The $6,000 will cover performer fees, film archivist charges, and production and promotion expenses. Events won’t be planned until all the money is raised. Steere said the group hopes to tie in live performances to the archived video they would use. So they would bring in contemporary artists to supplement the shows.

The videos chosen would include: jazz masters of the century, a tap dancing video and a collection of vintage western shows.

They hope to involve the community in the process, according to Steere.

“We talked with the jazz band at the high school and they’d help us with a selection of the collection of jazz masters,” he said.

In the future, the group wants to create a community-supported center for performing and film arts with room for other cultural and educational events.

“There are a lot of people in the community who would love to see a theater in downtown Stillwater,” Steere said. “It would be a great benefit for the community in the future.”

Right now though, the group is focused on bringing in the events mentioned earlier.

“We’re hoping to generate more interest, put on a concert and become a popular group in town,” Steere said.

The group needs to raise about $5,800 to bring the suggested events to the community next year. Since the Stillwater Downtown Theatre is a non-profit organization, donations are tax-deductible. Those interested in donating should send checks to Stillwater Downtown Theatre, P.O. Box 794 Stillwater, MN 55082 or donate online at the group’s website: www.stillwatertheatre.org.