Playhouse in the Park's "Magical Playground" of Props Destroyed by Fire, Community Rallies Recovery
One of the losses from last week's fire that destroyed several buildings in downtown Murray was Playhouse in the Park's storage space. Affectionately known as "Far Lands" the second floor of the Thurman Campbell Group building was dark and shadowy and full of relics spanning 40 years of community theatre history. Playhouse Executive Director Lisa Cope, and President of Playhouse's Board of Directors Dan Lavit join Kate on Sounds Good to remember the "magical playground" and the outpour of community support in building a new collection.
Far Lands: A "Magical Playground"
The space had no electricity and was dark and shadowy, filled with countless props, costumes and artifacts collected since the theatre's early days. To visit Far Lands was to walk through thousands of hours of theatre, childhood memories hanging beside shelves of vintage hats, tuxedos, wedding gowns and gloves.
"Every time we took someone new at first they were a little creeped out because there were dark stairs and a dark hallway, but then once they saw the stuff immediately they'd start putting hats on, boas, and picking up pieces and making their own little scene."
Most of the costumes and regularly used props are located in a space recently donated by Reed Interiors in Murray, but everything that was in Far Lands is gone.
Replacing what's lost
Lisa Cope says the outpouring of community support has been incredible. They've published a list of props needed for the current season at playhouseinthepark.net and have so far received hundreds of calls of offering assorted items. One of the props they had lost was a vintage radio and sure enough soemone called offering a radio from the 1930s. Local theatres are also stepping in to help: Murray State's Theatre Department, Market House Theatre in Paducah, Purchase Players in Mayfield, and a theatre in Owensboro.
Playhouse in the Park is looking for a storage space to collect new props and set pieces in a convenient location. Since Far Lands was donated to the theatre, they are hoping a generous donor will come forward with a free space.
Woodmen of the World have created a donation site at Redbasket.org, for 100% of the money raised to go to the theatre's recovery efforts. Donations are also accepted at the theatre during office hours or at the next performance.
Shows Coming Up:
- Grace & Glorie: September 5 - 14
- Legally Blonde the Musical: October 24 - November 9
- Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells: December 5 - 14