Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Lack of theater linked to levy

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer contributor

FAIRFIELD - There will be no summer theater in Fairfield this year.

It is the latest program to fall victim to the March 2 Fairfield Schools levy failure.

For the past six years, Fairfield Summer Community Theater has produced a show with the assistance of its co-sponsors, the city of Fairfield and the Fairfield Schools. The city gave the group a $15,000 grant and the schools allowed the group use of the performing arts center.

"We can't afford to do that this year because of the levy failure," said Anne Crone, president of the Fairfield Board of Education.

In the past, the school district has not charged rent, utilities or staffing costs.

So the community theater's board of directors decided to cancel this summer's production of The Sound of Music.

"It was going to be too expensive for us to rent it out for the summer," said Dan Prior, who worked with community theater. "We talked about changing locations, but decided we're just going to take this summer off."

John Brunner, a theater board member, said the school district would have charged about $15,000 for the use of the performing arts center, although a final figure had not been determined.

The community theater has already returned its 2004 check to the city, said Jim Hanson, Fairfield's finance director.

"I hope they reapply for the grant. We think it's a worthwhile effort," he said. "Our folks look forward to the production every summer. It brought the community together."

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