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FLAT ROCK — Flat Rock Playhouse is updating the façade of the historic theater and reroofing the building, the Playhouse announced.
The work is being paid for through donations from longtime Playhouse supporters Nina and Clyde Allen, Michael and Martie Garner and the Garner Foundation and Jane Rouse Waddell.
The improvements include repairs to the deteriorating roof of the theatre, which had been leaking, and a new front entrance designed to reflect the historical look of the building while remaining contemporary. The historic sign, taken down while the work is being done, will be reattached above the new entrance gable and will be lighted. LED lights and other improvements will be added as well.
"We felt a call to commit as the 2012 Flat Rock Playhouse season concluded," said Clyde Allen, an architect and Playhouse patron. "A call from thousands of past and present actors, musicians, writers, directors, technicians, teachers, patrons and other benefactors of the Playhouse who had delivered the future of a beloved cultural icon into the 2013 season."
Bringing together the original design with the modern revisions is especially important to longtime supporter Jane Rouse Waddell, the Playhouse said in a news release. The sign on the theatre was dedicated to Waddell's late husband by some of his many friends in the community.
"My late husband, Reggie Rouse, was devoted to the Playhouse and was on the Board for several years," she said. "He was always concerned about the ongoing financial stability of the Playhouse and maintaining the high-quality shows that the Playhouse is known for. I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue supporting the theatre and Reggie's wishes."
The support from these donors and local businesses meant that Flat Rock Playhouse would not need to spend any money from the Playhouse budget - or rely on public funds - to carry out the improvements. The monies donated were restricted donations to be used only towards the roof repairs and theatre facade to be completed before the 2013 Season opening.
"I hope that our support will encourage others," said Nina Allen. "By showing our steadfast commitment to this organization and its flagship building, we want to inspire others in the community to help in any way they can, whether that is through volunteering their time, creating business partnerships or philanthropy."
Local businesses who donated time or materials include Bill Merrill and the Merrill Family (Merrill Paints), Bill Burdett (general contractor / skilled carpentry), Wilsonart (column veneers / millwork / moldings), and Builders First Source (materials).
Outdoor lighting was provided by Affordable Quality Lighting.
Ray Owens of the Flat Rock Playhouse was the contractor of record for the roofing and facade modifications.
Most work is scheduled for completion by the opening night of The Odd Couple, the first show of the season, which opens on April 3. Audiences will be able to see the new facade by attending any Mainstage show of the 2013 season, including popular favorites Evita, Les Miserables, Deathtrap, Hank Williams: Lost Highway, The Three Musketeers and A Christmas Story.