Citizens group forms to keep community theater in Bay Village

In response to the recent announcement of the closing of Huntington Playhouse, a grassroots effort has surfaced to ensure that community theater lives on in the city. A group of residents, led by John Hnat, have formed the Citizens for Bay Village Community Theater, and created an online forum for public discussion. The Facebook page in the group's name will record the thoughts of Bay Village residents regarding the closing of the Playhouse and the preservation of live theater in the city.

“As of Dec. 31, 2015, Huntington Playhouse as we know it will cease to exist," Hnat posted on the group page. "The purpose of this group is to keep a quality community theater presence viable in Bay Village. We will post updates concerning the present Playhouse, upcoming meetings to get together to discuss the future of theater in Bay Village and official fund raising efforts to keep community theater in Bay Village. We invite residents to use this group as a forum to share possible solutions to the current situation; we hope to create a united front in keeping theater in Bay.”

Anytime a community loses a major part of its identity such as a live theater venue, it is a shock. But, says Hnat, “These are facts and wishing and hoping that things could be different will serve no purpose other than wallowing in the past." The group is focused on the future.

"It will be a huge effort to save community theater in Bay Village, whether in the current location or as part of another plan," Hnat said. "The more people involved with this project, the better the chances of success."

An initial meeting of the Citizens for Bay Village Community Theater is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 17, 7 p.m., at the Bay Village Branch Library, 502 Cahoon Road. All those interested in joining the effort are encouraged to attend.

Eileen Vernon

Resident of Bay Village for over 31 years.

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 8:58 AM, 09.15.2015