BY BILL PHILLIPS
The Fabulous Lipitones left a lot of laughs in town during its three-week run at Artspace.
But it also left some loot.
And that loot is going to the United Way of Northern B.C. The Miracle Theatre production chose the charity as this year’s recipients of proceeds from the play. On Monday, Miracle Theatre’s Anne Laughlin and Ted Price announced $50,225.95 was raised and that they are extremely pleased with the community’s reaction to the play about a barbershop quartet that finds a very unlikely fourth member in time for the championships.
“We’re thrilled with how willing people have been to attend and contribute,” said Laughlin. “We’ve done a lot of fundraising and a lot of theatre over the years, but this is such a winning combination. It’s worked for three winters in a row and people are already asking for more.”
This week’s donation means that over the past 28 months, Miracle Theatre has generated $144,663 for local charities. Last year Miracle Theatre’s production of The Last Romance raised $52,144 for local cancer clinic equipment and the year before Miracle on South Division Street raised $42,294 for children’s programs as the Salvation Army and 27 Million Voices.
“Audience reaction was even more than we hoped for,” said Price. “We wanted people to have a great night out and they certainly did. But we also wanted to give them something worthwhile to ponder. We got both in spades with this play being so full of laughter while the story showed the power of having a generous spirt and standing up for the right thing.”
Laughlin and Price say gross revenues for the production were $98,912.51, with $48,686.56 in costs, leaving the net proceeds at just over $50,000.
“It’s been an honour to work with Ted and Anne,” said Roberta Squire, United Way of Northern B.C. CEO.
Laughlin and Price attribute much of the continuing success of Miracle Theatre to the growing volunteer force that pitches in to help put on the production. They say the group are the most capable volunteers they have encountered in their careers.
“We have some people who just want to help out with work day activities, but we have just as many who could have succeeded in the profession as scenic carpenters, or costumers, or technicians, or administrators,” said Laughlin. “We have never had to many ready, willing, and especially capable volunteers step forward to work with us.”
Will they be back at it again next year?
“We, we certainly will,” said Price. “But we’ve been hired by a theatre on Prince Edward Island to do a production this summer and also have some other plans, so it won’t be before next winter or spring.”
Laughlin said the toughest part of it all is choosing which charity to donate the proceeds to.
“There are so many worthy organizations in Prince George,” she said. “Ted and I are very encouraged that so many people feel the same way while also agreeing that coming to a theatre production is such an enjoyable way to support them.”