Pittsburgh Musical Theater Launches Capital Campaign to Renovate Theatre and Educational Facilities
By Michael Gioia
Pittsburgh Musical Theater has launched its first capital campaign — which will fund the purchase and transformation of the James Centre, the company's home in Pittsburgh's West End Village, as well as the educational facilities for the Richard E. Rauh Conservatory — in preparation of the non-profit company's 25th anniversary celebration.
Founder and artistic director Ken Gargaro has announced that more than half of the $3 million goal has already been pledged.
Grants from the Heinz Endowments and the Richard King Mellon Foundation, as well as support from Pittsburgh Musical Theater's board of directors, have prepared the company to purchase the building they have been renting for the past 12 years and begin renovations.
In addition to new and expanded classrooms, updated infrastructure, an office suite and student recreation spaces, the 299-seat Little Victorian Hall will house new and original children's programming on weekends as well as "bring a taste of New York to the West End with cutting-edge Off-Broadway shows after dark." The Hall will also house Richard E. Rauh Conservatory student performances and will be available for rentals to the community in keeping with the company's mission to provide access to the arts for all.
Pittsburgh Musical Theater was founded in 1990 by Ken Gargaro as Gargaro Productions. Alumni of the Richard E. Rauh Conservatory have appeared on Broadway in Spider-Man Turn Off The Dark, The Book of Mormon, Gypsy, Billy Elliot, Follies, A Little Night Music, Memphis, Big Fish, Shrek, A Chorus Line, Hairspray, West Side Story, The Producers and as a Radio City Rockette, among many others. Tony Award winners and nominees have trained and performed with both the conservatory and professional companies. Conservatory alumni also have varied positions in the theatre industry including casting, marketing, management, publicity and lighting design.
For more information, visit PittsburghMusicals.com.
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