Bucks County Playhouse Revitalization Plans Move Forward

by Jean Brenner

Purple seats, red carpeting, new décor, new house lighting, new roof, new ceiling, live musicians, future  decks, handicapped ramp and bathroom, new bathrooms, sprinkler system – all of these items and more are in the works for Bucks County Playhouse under the new ownership.

Most surprising of all are the plans to have the interior ready to open a preview performance of their first show on Monday, July 2rd, just 73 years and a day after the 1939 historic theatre first opened with SPRINGTIME FOR HENRY.  The second show will open in August.  Neither title has been announced, but each show will run for three weeks.

It seems really ambitious to accomplish all the interior remodeling in just 5½ months, but that is the goal. They believe they can do it, and the architectural firm of Mills & Schnoerring is well on its way, displaying some of their plans at the Playhouse for the meeting.

Equity performers will be the principals of each summer season and Christmas show even as the philosophy is to return to training good actors along with experienced ones in each production.

They also expect that former actors who are now famous and well-known will return to perform upon the stage.

The theatre was about 2/3 filled with interested – often passionate — people for the meeting Thursday evening, all of whom had come for different personal reasons.

When invited, about half of those people stood up to declare they had already become members of Bucks County Theatre at memberships of $80 for individuals, $160 for families, and $500 for business.  To become a member, visit www.bcptheater.org or call 215-315-7788.

Additionally, there is a Founders Club program with a goal of reaching contributions of $1,000,00 or more as people show their support.

At Thursday’s meeting one person stood up and pledged a $500 membership on the spot.

Jed Bernstein speaks during meeting at Bucks County Playhouse.

Another man said that many years ago, he had retrieved about 25 of the “lost” wall plaques from a dumpster outside the Playhouse the previous tenants so indiscriminately discarded. The treasured plaques listed the shows of each year.  That gentleman said he will share them with the Playhouse once again.

Managing director, Jed Bernstein stated management is looking for any and all memorabilia people can find of old programs, posters, and so on.  If you can contribute any items please contact the group at the office phone number shown above.

Bernstein reiterated that the Playhouse will have many activities involving classes, producing community theatre productions in the off season, musical events, and so much more.

Rounds and rounds of applause sounded for the leaders of this effort, especially for Kevin and Sherri Daughterty whose funding has made the beginning of this project possible along with the vision of Peggy McRae, champion of saving Bucks County Playhouse, Jed Bernstein, managing director, and so many others.

Not only is Bucks County Playhouse rising again, but it will be a hub of activity, drawing people to New Hope, supporting the merchants as well as the theatre.

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