WESTON >> The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company has announced it has received major support for its capital campaign from the Hunter Charitable Trust of Boston and the Loewe Foundation of New York. The Campaign for the Weston Theatre, which currently stands at $8.5 million, will build a flexible second stage on the five-acre Walker Farm in Weston to complement the award-winning company's programming at the historic Weston Playhouse.
The James H. and Irene M. Hunter Charitable Trust has awarded a $500,000 challenge grant to the theatre company, agreeing to match new capital gifts of $25,000 or more. One of Southern Vermont's major charitable givers, the Hunter Trust has supported such area projects as the Manchester Community Library, Hunter Park at Riley Rink, Long Trail School, Northshire Day School, and Burr and Burton Academy.
"The proposed Center for the Arts at Walker Farm is a facility which will provide a venue for both arts and community organizations," commented Susie Hunter. "The facility will allow Weston to expand its education, outreach, and artistic programs year-round. It is the type of gathering and creative center the Hunter family has always supported; a combination of cultural, educational, and community enhancement that will benefit everyone in the surrounding areas."
The Frederick Loewe Foundation has committed $150,000 to Weston's $1.5 million Fund for the American Theatre, created to help cover the increased operating costs of an expanded campus and to provide seed money for new and ongoing programs. The gift will establish the Frederick Loewe Fund for Musical Theatre to support reduced orchestrations of new and classic musicals produced on the company's stages.
The New York-based foundation, founded by composer Frederick Loewe (My Fair Lady, Camelot, Brigadoon), supports the American musical theatre while preserving the legacy of Loewe and his music. "We have been delighted to fund Weston's work with new musicals for many years," remarks Loewe Foundation President Emily Altman. "The company's commitment to developing fresh and affordable orchestrations for smaller houses answers a growing need, and we are excited to support it."
"The Hunter challenge gives us the momentum to reach our ambitious goal," said Weston's Producing Artistic Director Steve Stettler, "and the Loewe Foundation gift signals that the New York-based industry and funding community see the value of our future plans. We're hugely grateful to these funders for their vision and generosity."
Further information about The Campaign for the Weston Theatre and the company's 80th anniversary season can be found at www.westonplayhouse.org.