COVID-19 update and our plea to help us keep the arts alive in our community:
The Marietta Center for the Arts: Home of Susquehanna Stage is currently closed due to CDC recommendations and our state's stay-at-home order for the COVID-19 pademic. During these unprecedented times of social distancing and business closures I know that many of us are experiencing a shared sense of stress. As a non-profit organization we find ourselves in a unique position and one of great financial strain as our doors are closed. Between maintenance costs, mortgage payments, revenue loss from the cancellation of two productions and several educational classes, we are left in a position we have never faced before.
It is now more than ever that we need your help to survive this time and prepare for a better one, where we can turn the lights back on and welcome actors and patrons alike back through our doors. You can help us continue to build on our passion for the arts and provide opportunities to our community by partnering with the Marietta Center for the Arts so that we can keep Susquehanna Stage’s theatre productions and our volunteer led educational classes alive!
We would like to invite you to become a member of our 2020 Theatre Guild – a group of supporters who are committed to helping the arts thrive throughout Lancaster County and beyond. Your donation of any size would help us greatly as we navigate through the next weeks and months. When it is safe for us all to gather, we celebrate together with laughter, dancing, food, and music!
Our goal is to raise $10,000 for COVID-19 relief, which is 20% of our on-going #LIGHTtheSTAGE fundraising campaign. For more information on our on-going campaign, please read our story below about The Power of Arts & Community. No matter the amount you can give – know that your contribution will make a huge difference during these times and your tax-deductible gift will go a long way in helping us ensure that the Marietta Center for the Arts: Home of Susquehanna Stage can return to bringing you joy through the arts.
We humbly thank you for your continued support during this national crisis and are looking forward to seeing each and every one of you on the other side of this!
- Mareitta Center for the Arts, Board of Directors & Staff
It was an incredible first year in our new home at the MCA! Year-round educational programming took off, we have opened the doors to two performance spaces, and completed Susquehanna Stage’s 2019 season! We have also been able to make many upgrades to the building and we have big plans for the future.
2019 was the beginning of year-round classes for kids and adults alike. In our first year, 73 students came to the MCA to learn or enhance their skills. We had a wide range of programming: youth & teen theatre classes, women's self-defense, voice lessons, learning to sew, imagination-based game-play, and the rejuvenated Arts Alive Summer Camp. All of our classes are taught by incredible volunteer instructors who want to contribute to helping our youth discover and learn about all the arts have to offer.
Susquehanna Stage's 2019 Season was one of the most exciting as it was the first season in our new space at the Marietta Center for the Arts. With increased seating, two performance spaces, and the excitement of seeing the new Marietta Center for the Arts, overn 4,100 people have seen a Susquehanna Stage production this year. This doesn't include the numerous people who have been through our doors for a fundraiser, to volunteer, or to just to tour the space when our doors are open!
In August of 2018 we opened the doors to the Marietta Center for the Arts, which houses two performance spaces, the Gallery Stage and the Eater Theater (sponsored by the Eater Family Foundation). The Gallery Stage is a more intimate performance space with floor and balcony seating. As we were working on renovating our main-stage Eater Theater, the first three productions of 2019 we held in the Gallery space, which seats about 75 people. Our Gallery space also acts as a reception area during intermissions for shows, with bathrooms and concessions; as well as event space rental for any occasion you can dream.
In July 2019 we officially opened the doors to our mainstage space, the Eater Theater. This space was originally a church sanctuary and has become one of the newest performance spaces in Lancaster County. Over 3 months, volunteers put in countless hours to transform this space into a functioning theatre. The original altar was carefully removed, a raised platform was built, space for the orchestra and backstage were added, lights were hung, and sound equipment was installed. What is most special about this space is that many original features are still intact, including all the original stained glass and the beautiful arches soaring high over the stage. The Eater Theater seats 156 people, and as we continue upgrades in 2020, we are hoping to increase this number even more.
The goal of the MCA over the next year is to accomplish more upgrades to better your experience when you come to visit. Everything you give to us, we plan to give back to you!
If you came to a show in our newly renovated Eater Theater, sponsored by the Eater Family Foundation, you know that we are still in the process of renovating. The current seating is all on one level, which can cause issues with sight-lines and ability to see the complete picture on stage (especially if sitting in the back). Our main goal for 2020 is to have raised theatre seating so that every person in the audience has a view of the stage and is comfortable when seeing a performance. Helping fund this endeavor will allow us to enhance your experience and will expand our possibilities for staging.
Currently in the Eater Theater, there is no designated tech booth for sound and lighting. Tech is being run from platforms and scaffolding in the back corners of the theatre. We are planning to create a tech booth in the room near the bell tower, which will have a direct view into the theatre. It will be elevated and have a viewing window into the theatre so that all sound and lighting can be run out of the way of seating and without interfering with the audience's experience.
Who doesn’t want a larger bathroom?! The bathrooms that we have at the MCA are definitely an upgrade from our last building, but there are only two located for patrons upstairs. Our goal is to expand the current bathrooms for men and women so that there are multiple stalls in each. This will make for a much better experience during the intermission of a performance or other events held at the MCA. No more lines!
With our growing educational component and the success of our Arts Alive! summer camp, we would like to renovate our "Education Wing." Currently, most classes are being held in the downstairs of the building - in a space that previously acted as a mess hall when the building was being used as a church. It is a wonderful space, but it is in desperate need of some upgrades. We would like to fix some flooring issues, create a workspace for art classes and dressing rooms for shows, and install a dance floor & mirrors for dance & theatre classes.
Who doesn't like to be cool in the hot summer months?! If you came to see EVITA you know that it was hard to keep the theater cool during shows. Even though we had 6 window units running in that space, the heat from the lights, people sitting in the seats, and those dancing on stage was unable to be tamed. The running sound from the AC units also caused hearing issues for patrons sitting close to them. Central air would not only help with your comfort and the actors' comfort, but it also provides a financial benefit to our organization as we would be spending less monthly on electric. As a non-profit this is such a huge benefit - wherever we can cut costs, we must try!
There are over 54 million Americans who have a disability. This is nearly 19%, or one in five residents. At the Marietta Center for the Arts, we want to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Anyone who wants to enjoy the art of theatre should be able to do so, and we hope to make this a possibility by 2021. Currently we are able to make accommodations as needed and have a chair lift into our main theatre, but there is much more that needs to be done to make our patrons with disabilities more comfortable and our space more accessible in regard to entrances to the building, seating, and bathrooms.
We need YOU to help us #LIGHTtheSTAGE as we continue our journey of expanding the arts in Marietta, PA!
2018 and 2019 were filled with inspirational giving – you helped raise over $11,000 for the Marietta Center for the Arts during the Extraordinary Give and other fundraisers! The funds raised helped us accomplish many things in 2019 and start on projects for 2020. We are asking that, once again, you choose to contribute towards helping us make the arts in Marietta, PA thrive by donating to our on-going campaign!.
For more information or to join us for a show, get involved on stage, help behind the scenes or host your next event, check out: