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Pickering's Kirk Theatre facing imminent closure
PICKERING’S Kirk Theatre is facing imminent closure unless more people support the facility.
The theatre, which has served the Ryedale community for well over 30 years, is run by a team of volunteers and relies completely on its own fundraising.
However, manager Luke Arnold has warned that they are now in a situation of ‘use it of lose it’.
He said: “Unlike the other theatres in the area we do not getting any funding and completely rely on our own resources so we need the support of local people both in Pickering and across Ryedale.
“Our annual running costs now exceed £45,000 a year and unless we do something to improve the situation we will not be here within a year.”
Luke said that recently, along with a new management team and committee, there have been a lot of improvements made to the facilities in the theatre but it could be easily forgotten that it is run solely by volunteers.
“The theatre is staffed by front of house volunteers, who meet and greet audiences, back stage hands, who build, paint and move scenery, technical staff who provide lighting and sound for shows in addition to musicians and the wardrobe department,” he said.
“All this is done by a skeleton staff, many are not getting any younger, and we desperately need additional help in all these areas for the theatre to continue.”
Luke said the theatre puts on amateur and professional musicals, plays, tribute nights and a host of other fundraising events and had a thriving youth theatre.
“We would all be devastated if the theatre shut – it is a great thing to have in Pickering,” he said.
“Maybe people just don’t realise what they have and we would urge them to come along and take a look inside to see what a fantastic facility the Kirk Theatre is.”
The Kirk Theatre is holding an open evening on Friday, September 27, 7pm-9pm, for people to meet theatre staff and see behind the scenes. Refreshments will be available.
Anyone who is unable to come along on that day but would like to get involved should contact assistant theatre manager Aimee Dussold by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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