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A Stevens Point theatre receives help in raising funds from actress Kathy Kinney

Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 5:06 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Central Wisconsin Area Community Theatre is facing a weird time for performers. No mass gatherings mean no live shows and no ticket sales. It’s a change that hit them suddenly when COVID-19 sent the country into lockdown.

“This space is set up currently for a production, Ken Ludwig’s Postmortem, which unfortunately our cast was selected, our crew started building and the pandemic shut us down,” said Treasurer John Omernik. The play is now slated to be the second production of the 2021-22 season.

Stevens Point’s mayor is a huge supporter of the local theater scene and believes the escape theater provides is something we all need right now.

That’s why he was quick to help when CWACT reached out.

“The creativity we have in Stevens Point is second to none, and the theater’s a big part of that. It’s been tremendously affected by the pandemic, as have all of the other artists in their medium,” said Mayor Mike Wiza. He said before the pandemic, he went to all of CWACT’s shows.

The shutdown of production gave the theatre’s board members time to focus on improvements that could be made to the company’s facilities.

“And that’s where the idea for the capital campaign came up and after reaching out to Mayor Wiza, he started hitting his group of contacts and we were off to the races,” said Omernik.

Mayor Wiza emailed Stevens Point native Kathy Kinney, best known as Mimi on the Drew Carey show.

She made a video asking people to support their local theaters. Then she donated $5 thousand of her own to CWACT.

So far the company is about halfway to its short-term goal.

“We have time now and we are using this opportunity to do some investment, to ensure that the costume shop has a roof over it that doesn’t leak. To ensure that the floor in the rehearsal hall doesn’t cause dancers to roll an ankle or roller-skaters to fall on their tushes,” said Omernik.

Until they are able to go back to performing live, they are offering virtual performances on their YouTube Channel.

Click here to visit the theatre’s website.

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