R2P is Running Home

After more than 10 years on the road, 
it’s time for R2P to settle down. We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a permanent theatre of our own.

A fundraising campaign for Running to Places Theatre Company

NOTE: Gifts made offline will count toward our goal. Checks payable to "Running to Places" with “R2P Running Home Fund” noted in the memo may be mailed to 1013 West State St., Ithaca NY 14850.

Also, if you would like to pledge your gift across multiple years, please contact Joey Steinhagen at 607-216-8750 or joey@runningtoplaces.org.

The Story So Far…

One of the reasons we called ourselves “Running to Places” when we began in 2007 was that we figured we would forever be homeless and nomadic. Over the course of our first decade, we did our work in any available venue that we could afford. We developed a model to use theatre as the means to develop young people into the best versions of themselves through the practice of essential life skills that come along with putting on a show. We made participation in R2P entirely FREE, so that the doors were open to everyone. We worked to become a stable and fiscally healthy organization to ensure that we would be around for all the kids still to come.

However, as we now begin our second decade, we believe it is time to spend less time “running.” If we spent less time chasing down venues and trucking scenery across the county, we could focus on our mission of serving the young people of our community. It’s time for us to settle down. The question, then: What could this home be?

The Dream:

So, we know we’re not talking about building a two-million dollar theatre from scratch. Let’s start by...

  Finding an existing space that’s ripe and ready for reimagining…

  It should be somewhere that kids and families already know and that they easily can get to from all over… 

  We’re a youth community theatre, so finding something that fits our identity would be ideal…

  Naturally, it has to be achievable financially and logistically… 

  Bonus points if creating this new theatre could help out other community organizations and the local economy itself…

Guess what? We checked all those boxes and more…


The Plan:

Remember the original movie theaters at the mall? They’re still there! Hiding in plain sight between Best Buy and the former Sears entrance are black boxes bristling with potential. R2P will rent a portion of the multiplex and renovate it to feature a 300+ seat auditorium, dance studio/second performance space, scenery & costume shops, dressing rooms, and offices – moving all of our operations under one roof. And most importantly, we’ll be able to offer more opportunities to more teens than ever before possible!

R2P will maintain our five-show season, but we’ll be able to run them longer, over multiple weekends, to better serve both our kids and our audiences. We’ll bring along much-needed traffic to our mall contributing to the stability and longevity of that anchor of the Tompkins County.

And in between the runs of our shows? For starters, our fellow community groups have already expressed great interest in the space for performances, rehearsals, storage, meetings, and more. Also, our own kids will now have a laboratory and playground of their very own. Student-directed pieces, garage band concerts, in-depth technical trainings, master classes by guest artists, experimental projects, and countless ideas yet to be born – the sky’s the limit! And all the while, we’ll be upholding our promise to keep participation in R2P entirely free.

How It’s Possible:

Making our home at the old movie complex is achievable in part because it already is a theatre! Unlike other “found space” conversions, the room is already light and sound proof, has sloped floors, and even has a manager’s booth overlooking the hall. The facility is already equipped with HVAC, sprinklers, bathrooms, and power – plus an asset of infinite value: ample free nearby well-lit security-patrolled parking! Don’t drive? No problem – the mall is served by four TCAT lines. Plus, the rent we have negotiated is reasonable and affordable for us.

Additionally, we have a lot of what we need already in hand thanks to the generosity and resourcefulness of our immediate R2P community, including a basic but versatile lighting and sound package that will be long-term loaned to us by our resident designers. Thanks to a serendipitously timed renovation, Newfield High School has donated all of their auditorium seating and tons of technical equipment. All of the architectural work for the renovation is being done pro-bono by R2P board members of The Architects Drew. The project will be managed by Jerry Dietz and C.S.P. Management, who have been the wind in our sails from the very beginning. Also onboard to advise us is KTC’s recently retired Artistic Director Rachel Lampert, who previously partnered with Jerry Dietz to shepherd the new Kitchen into existence.

What’s Next:

Our goal is to raise $150,000, and we're already well on our way! The Shops at Ithaca Mall has offered to give us until November rent-free to begin transforming the space into our new home. Can you imagine the scores of hard-working teens opening our 2019 Season in our new home?

How You Can Help:

Gifts of any size will get us closer to our new home. We will be selling seats and there are many naming opportunities. Please contact Joey Steinhagen at joey@runningtoplaces.org or 607-216-8750 to learn more and hear about donor recognition. You can make a secure contribution on this page. Checks payable to Running to Places” with “R2P Running Home Fund” noted in the memo section may be mailed to 1013 West State St., Ithaca NY 14850.

Naming Opportunities:

  • $50,000 – Performance Space Naming Opportunity  (No longer available)
  • $25,000 – Lobby Space Naming Opportunity
  • $15,000 – Lighting Equipment Naming Opportunity
  • $15,000 – Orchestra Pit Naming Opportunity  (No longer available)
  • $15,000 – Sound System Naming Opportunity
  • $10,000 – Dressing Rooms Naming Opportunity  (No longer available)
  • $10,000 – Technical Booth Naming Opportunity
  • $10,000 – Scene Shop Naming Opportunity
  • $10,000 – Office Naming Opportunity  (No longer available)
  • $5,000 – Stage Management Area Naming Opportunity  (No longer available)
  • $3,000 – A Named Theater Seat in the Front Section
  • $2,000 – A Named Theater Seat in the Middle Section
  • $1,000 – A Named Theater Seat in the Rear Section

 On behalf of all of young people we serve – thank you.

Who’s Who at R2P

Founder/Artistic & Resident Director

Joey Steinhagen

Finance Manager

Virginia Marques

Resident Artists:

Music Director

Jeremy Pletter

Scenic Designer

Deborah Drew

Lighting Designer

Natty Simson

Costume Designer

Liz Woods 

Props Master

Janet Olsen

Technical Director

James Drew

Board of Directors

James Drew, President

Dick Furnas, VP/Treasurer

Deborah Drew, Secretary

Heidi Goldstein

Kati Torello

Lilly Westbrook


Jerry Dietz

Jack Goldstein

Linda Harris

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About the Organization

Running to Places Theatre Company

Running to Places (R2P) is a youth community theatre company that brings together middle & high school students from across the area. We're in the business of youth development, helping raise our community's children and making excellent theatre in the process. Thanks to support from people like you, PARTICIPATION IN R2P IS FREE.