StageWest Community Theatre of the West Plains has been performing plays in the area for six years.
One venue has been Cheney City Hall, but the collapse of the Wren Pierson Building has moved city programs there. StageWest also has performed at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, but the troupe doesn’t want to wear out its welcome.
That’s why the group, which hopes to have nonprofit status in the coming months, is looking for a permanent location on the West Plains.
“My vision is an old red barn,” said Kay Pacheco, the troupe’s public relations and fundraising coordinator. But she said the new location could be any empty building with room for 50 to 70 spectators, restrooms and room for a stage.
During these tough financial times, Pacheco knows that finding a free location or a benefactor isn’t going to be easy.
Still, “if I don’t think big, it’s not going to happen,” she said.
Pacheco is busy sending out notices, selling advertising in the upcoming season’s program and selling coupon space on the back of the tickets.
Staging a play isn’t cheap; there are royalty fees to pay, as well as the cost of costumes, lighting, sets and venue.
“It all just adds up to a lot of time and money,” Pacheco said.
The group tries to keep tickets to $10 per show, or $35 for a season of four plays.
“We’re the cheapest play group around,” she said.
The next season starts in October with “Bell, Book and Candle.” Other plays on the schedule are “Lost Santa” in December; “Breaking Legs” in February; and “The Diary of Anne Frank” in April and May.
The group is always looking for new members. “You can either act or be behind the scenes,” Pacheco said.
If StageWest finds a permanent location, the group plans to stage musicals, offer drama classes for children and open up the space to local bands, speakers, dances and more.
Pacheco hopes to find a location within the next year.
“There’s gotta be a way.”