Tuesday, 08 December 2020 16:29

LET THERE BE LIGHTS: Richmond Community Theatre awarded $33K grant for new lighting system

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Richmond Community Theatre's lighting system will soon be upgraded thanks to a grant from the Cole Foundation. Richmond Community Theatre's lighting system will soon be upgraded thanks to a grant from the Cole Foundation. RO file photo

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Community Theatre will soon be upgraded with a new lighting system thanks to a grant from a local foundation.


Cleve Baxley, who is heavily involved with the local theater, announced on Facebook Monday that the Cole Foundation has awarded a $33,500 grant for the new lights.

“Not only will it mean top-notch lighting for our cast and crew and audiences, but safer lighting for our crew to use,” Theatre Director Merrie Dawkins said when she shared Baxley’s post.

Dawkins said the current lighting system was installed when the theater was established, with a few additions over the years.

She added that the grant should cover the costs of the new lighting system and they hope to have it installed as soon as possible — though she’s not sure how the COVID-19 pandemic will factor into the time frame.

“At the moment we have some distant dreams, but no immediate plans for more improvements,” Dawkins continued.

Actors and crew members have been rehearsing both virtually on Zoom and in-theater for the upcoming play “The New Twenties,” written by Katie Collins.

“It was a happy time for those of us that were able to be in the theatre,” Dawkins said in a Dec. 4 post accompanying photos of the in-theater rehearsal. Folks were walking around with big smiles on their faces talking about how happy they were to be back in their happy place!

“We theatre folks are missing each other and our theatre home,” she added. “We are disappointed that we are going back to only Zoom rehearsals, but our health and the health of our families, friends, and our community matters to us!”

The current plan is to livestream the play Jan. 8 and 9.

“When we get the green light we can reopen, we will,” Dawkins said.