Matthew Herchik

Zanesville Community Theatre announces three-year initiative

by Matthew Herchik on May 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

ZANESVILLE, Ohio — The Zanesville Community Theatre is looking to make some significant improvements to their venue over the coming years.

The theatre’s Board of Directors announced a three-year initiative on Saturday that will help restore the 108-year old building and allow them to continue to be a presence in Zanesville for many years to come.

“We are announcing a three-year kick-off to an initiative in order to allow us to make some repairs and enhancements to the building. The building was built in 1910 and needs a little ‘TLC,'” said Matt Swingle, Secretary on the ZCT Board of Directors.

“We’re getting ready to start our 55th season so we have been a presence in this community for 55 years, and we hope for another 55 at least, and this three-year initiative is going to give us the tools to really do that,” added Jillian Von Gunten, President of the ZCT Board of Directors.

While the board wants to upgrade the building from top to bottom, they say it’s important that the venue maintains the historic feel that the neighborhood has come to expect.

“We have a wonderful presence in the historic district, we have a wonderful neighborhood here that’s very supportive of us but the building is more than 100 years old so brickwork needs replacement, windows need replacement,” explained Von Gunten.

“Yeah we’d like to replace the seating, the seating is basically from 1994. But keeping in period with the building, because we want to kind of continue that because we love being in this historic neighborhood,” Swingle chimed in.

Both Von Gunten and Swingle emphasized the importance of theatre in their lives, and with youth of our communities. Von Gunten says while she is a lawyer by day, theatre helped her learn confidence, and comfort with speaking in front of people; providing her with important skills she uses to this day.

Swingle echoed those thoughts explaining they hold youth programs for local students, because some area schools don’t even have theatre programs. It provides them an opportunity to learn about theatre and explore and meet new kids with a similar interest.

The board emphasized their appreciate and thankfulness for the support that they have received from the community over the first 55 years, and hopes that they can continue to be an important piece of the community for many years to come. They say with there being many phases to the three-year initiative, they will be getting in touch with people in the near future to let them know how they can help them make this a reality.