Huntington Playhouse Stories: End, middle and beginning

Update: "Christmas at Aunt Ida's," the final show scheduled to run at Huntington Playhouse, has been canceled due to production issues.

It's December and the Huntington Playhouse will close this month. One more show is scheduled, "Christmas at Aunt Ida's," then it's time to sell off any remaining items of value, pay some bills, turn off the lights and hand over the keys. The end.

The middle of this story is the end of one story and the beginning of another. 

The announcement came in August to close the theater. The current managing director, Tom Meyrose, decided to continue operation until the end of the year. Meanwhile Bay Village resident John Hnat decided to try and keep community theater alive in his city.

After the hundreds of opening nights he has overseen during his role as managing director, Mr. Meyrose will host the final show he directed on Dec. 3. The final curtain for "Aunt Ida" is on Dec. 20. 

Since making his decision, Mr. Hnat has started Citizens for Bay Village Community Theater. Immediate plans are to produce two shows next year at a location to be determined while at the same time develop a business plan to present to the Metroparks and fill out nine more positions on the board of directors that will oversee fundraising, advertising, programming, building evaluation, etc. A series of tasks that seem daunting, but progress continues.

There is no guarantee another show will ever be produced at Huntington Playhouse; what is certain, it is worth a try. One only has to look at what a successful theater gives to a community to know that.

While Mr. Meyrose wraps up a long run at the Huntington Playhouse, a moment's reflection is all it takes to reveal what a monumental effort this job required. 

What will the future bring for Bay Village community theater? It is not certain but there seems to be lots of positive energy  

If we can lower the curtain on our first production, if we brought out crowds of people and made them happy, if we can, then this won't just be a story, but a new beginning. We look forward to the summer of 2016.

Our next meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 22, 7 p.m., in the BVPD Community Room, 28000 Wolf Road. We plan to vote to adopt our bylaws which can be reviewed on our Facebook page.

I encourage you to see the last show at the Huntington Playhouse and show your support for all of the good people that worked hard to bring you this final season.

Citizens For Bay Village Community Theater is working to form relationships with civic groups, not-for-profit organizations, government and businesses in Bay Village to provide a true community effort to keep community theater an active and vital part of our city. We have established a dialogue with the Metroparks board and are working to develop a proposal that will allow community theater to remain on the Huntington Reservation. Join our Facebook group, Citizens For Bay Village Community Theater, or contact us at for updates.

Patrick M Meehan

Patrick is Vice President of Education for the newly formed Citizens for Bay Village Community Theater. An organization whose goal is to continue to provide Community Theater and Theater Education for the City of Bay Village.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:49 AM, 12.01.2015