Bethlehem Press

Thursday, November 21, 2019
PRESS PHOTO BY KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMSCivic Theatre School student Ava Grace, 12, left, and Civic Theatre of Allentown board member Ray Sterner, center, lead tours of the Civic prop and costume shop at “Kapital for Kids” fund drive kickoff. PRESS PHOTO BY KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMSCivic Theatre School student Ava Grace, 12, left, and Civic Theatre of Allentown board member Ray Sterner, center, lead tours of the Civic prop and costume shop at “Kapital for Kids” fund drive kickoff.

Civic Theatre launches $1.1-mllion ‘Kapital for Kids’ campaign

Friday, November 1, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS Special to The Press in Focus

Civic Theatre of Allentown patrons heard Broadway tunes from Civic’s brand-new Civic Show Choir and took tours of the second floor of the Nineteenth Street Theatre Oct. 21 when the nonprofit theater kicked off the third and final phase of its capital campaign.

“Kapital for Kids” aims to raise $1.1 million to replace second-floor windows, renovate and modernize the classroom-rehearsal studios and the costume shop, and preserve and weatherize the Ninteenth Street Theatre façade.

The capital campaign started in 2017 and since then, $5.5 million in renovations restored the main area of the Nineteenth Street Theatre to its original Art Deco grandeur.

“We want our mission to extend far beyond our own lives,” said Civic board member Barry Glassman. “The second floor is the home of Civic Theatre School, which has grown and grown.

“We need to provide more adaptive space for our ever growing children’s program and we will finally have our mission complete. Let’s reinvigorate an already successful campaign and get this puppy done,” Glassman said.

A video highlighted graduates of the theater school who have gone on to success in motion pictures, including Dane DeHaan, who starred in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014) Kill Your Darlings”; Christine Taylor, who starred in “Zoolander” (2001), and Oakes Fegley, who starred in “Pete’s Dragon” (2016). Taylor and Fegley are honorary co-chairs of “Kapital for Kids.”

“This is about kids,” said Civic board member Ray Sterner. “We have to support our children. You never know who’s going to be the next Lady Gaga. You never know what’s going to blossom out of this stage.”

Glassman also announced a “Kapital for Kids” crowd-funding campaign with a goal of raising $50,000. People can donate $19, $190 or $1900 online at: civictheatre.com.

“We want to keep this space an active vibrant center for theater,” said Robert Laconi. Civic’s new director of development.

The crowd got a taste of the talent of Civic’s students when they heard the theater’s show choir perform several songs, including “Imagine” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”

The choir, directed by Brian Foley, was launched this fall and includes 14 students in fifth through 12th grades.

“I am a ridiculously proud graduate of this theater program,” said JoAnn Wilchek Basist, a board member who teaches in Civic Theatre School. “This is a special, special place.”