Raise the Curtain! Light the Lights! in Support of Oldcastle Theatre
Oldcastle Theatre will hold a major fundraising gala on Saturday, November 18, from 6 to 9 p.m., offering food, drink, cabaret entertainment and silent and live auction. ‘Raise the Curtain! Light the Lights!’ will celebrate Oldcastle’s transformation from a summer theater into a year-round performing arts center that is already staging concerts, movies, art exhibits and other cultural activities as well as professional theater. Oldcastle also intends to begin staging community theater and other educational and cultural offerings.
Founded by Eric Peterson and several others back in 1971, Oldcastle has been producing quality plays in Bennington since then, transforming the former Knights of Columbia Hall at 331 Main Street into an intimate 130-seat theater. Its location in the heart of the planned Putnam Redevelopment Project intended to restore the historic core of the village, means that it will become the cultural center of a revitalized downtown.
Because regional theaters like Oldcastle seldom get more than 50 percent of their operating expenses from ticket sales, fundraising events like the gala are crucial, along with donations, grants, sponsorships and program ads. “We’re very grateful to the merchants, restaurants and individuals who already have become sponsors of this event or donated auction items for it,” he said. “Their backing shows that they feel we’re an important part of the cultural life of the community, and we want to repay that support by helping make Bennington an even better place to live.”
The cabaret entertainment will be organized by Lynn Sweet, choral music teacher at Mount Anthony Union High School, and will include performances by Oldcastle veteran Rick Howe, Vic Callirgos, Victoria Benkoski and Sweet herself, along with members of the Mount Anthony Union Chamber Singers and several cast members from the recent high school production of ‘Into the Woods.’ Food for the gala will be provided by Powers Market, along with homemade desserts by Oldcastle board members. Ticket holders will receive one free drink and there will be a cash bar. Tickets for the event are $60, available at oldcastletheatre.org.
Auction items will include classes for two at the Orvis Fly Fishing School, with an overnight reservation at the Manchester Inn and a dinner for two at a Manchester restaurant; gift baskets and gift certificates from local merchants; a flight for two over much of Bennington County with veteran pilot Chuck Suss; a Toulouse Lautrec dinner for eight at a private home with absinthe and recipes from Lautrec’s own cookbook; a tour and tea for ten at the Dollhouse and Toy Museum; a large Christmas tree delivered to your door along with a holiday nutcracker and a vintage Christmas tree ornament; tennis lessons ; works by area artists; dinner and theater packages; and much more. They can be seen online at raisethecurtain.org. For more information, call 802-447-0564.