The Playhouse on Park’s 10th Anniversary Gala was held at the Gershon Fox Ballroom, with performances from past shows at the West Hartford theater delighting the guests.
By Ronni Newton
One would expect a gala for a theater to be more dramatic and entertaining than your average fundraiser – and Playhouse on Park’s 10th Anniversary celebration did not disappoint.
The 200 guests who attended the June 15 celebration at the Gershon Fox Ballroom in Hartford enjoyed cocktails, dinner, and were entertained by snippets of performances from shows like “Chicago,” “Hair,” “Caberet,” and “Swinging on a Star” that have been on stage at the theater over the past 10 years.
Just shy of $100,000 was raised through a live auction as well as a silent auction that featured theater- or entertainment-related items like an autographed poster of Billy Porter, Broadway tickets to shows like “Hamilton,” “Ain’t To Proud,” and “Beautiful,” VIP Tickets for Jason Robert Brown in concert, Skype sessions with Broadway performers, and tickets to local theaters and restaurants all over the state.
“What an incredible night for Playhouse on Park,” Executive Director Tracy Flater said. “The energy was electrifying, the performers truly took us all on a sentimental journey while the audience overwhelmed us with their passion and support for what we do. I am so grateful for the love, the support, and what will always be a night to remember.”
The gala was attended by supporters of the West Hartford theater, as well as board members, staff, and many former cast and crew members.
“Never before have I felt so much love and support from so many people,” Darlene Zoller, co-artistic director and co-founder said in a news release.
Flater, Zoller, and Co-Artistic Director and Co-Founder Sean Harris received a standing ovation when they took the stage to thank everyone for their support.
Ryan Bell – the theater’s production manager for the first five seasons – was awarded with the inaugural “Playhouse on Park Star Award” in recognition of and appreciation for his extraordinary dedication and exemplary service.
West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor was out of town and unable to attend, but in her place Playhouse on Park board member emeritus Chuck Coursey presented an official proclamation to the three founders, as a testament to the artistic and cultural impact of the theater in its community.
“The Playhouse on Park 10th Anniversary Gala was truly a night to remember,” Zoller said. “Attendees, past cast members and volunteers alike made it clear that we are doing important work and it gave me the motivation I need to continue on this journey. [We’re] looking forward to the future of the Playhouse.”
Honorary Chairs of the 10th Anniversary Gala were Bob and Frankie Goldfarb, Jeffrey and Nancy Hoffman, and Richard and Lea Rubenstein, plus a Gala committee.
Sponsors included Bob and Frankie Goldfarb, Jeffrey and Nancy Hoffman, Richard and Lea Rubenstein, Hartford Business Journal, LAZ Parking, Falcetti Pianos, Power Station Events, Dornenburg | Kallenbach Advertising, Patrick and Carol McCabe, Blum Shapiro, Pullman and Comley, Companions for Living, We-ha.com, Plymouth Springs Company, Keating Insurance Agency, Jules and Maureen Gaudreau, Ron and Ruth Van Winkle, and Gaetano Albani and Jayne Dean.
Managed under the Playhouse Theatre Group, Inc, Playhouse on Park is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Ticket sales cover just 50 percent of what it takes to run the arts organization, with the remainder raised through individual donations, foundation grants, sponsorship, and fundraisers. Donations (checks payable to Playhouse Theatre Group) will be accepted at any time.
For more information about Season 11 and other performances and programs, visit www.playhouseonpark.org or call the box office at 860-523-5900 x10. Playhouse on Park is located at 244 Park Rd., West Hartford, CT.
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