Community invited to attend Theater Challenge

Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2013 - 5:17pm

After 50 years of gracing the southwest corner of campus, it¹s time for a major uplift for USU Eastern’s Geary Theatre.

After serving as the “official” stage for thousands of theatre

productions in addition to music festivals, dance recitals, countless

graduations and even a few funerals, it has come time to remodel, update, revamp, restore, or whatever term comes to mind, to bring this grand old theatre into the 21st century.

There is a short time table to accomplish the first phase of this

daunting task of raising $100,000 in 100 days. Titled the “Geary Challenge,” officials at USU Eastern want to show the Utah Board of Regents, the Building Board and the Utah Legislature how important the Geary Theatre is to this area and how it needs a second chance.

“Called a necessary tsunami of support,” administrators have raised

$42,000 of their $100,000 goal and are counting on an one who supports the arts to help them reach their goal.

According to Vice Chancellor of Institutional Advancement, Brad King, “We need help to cross the finish line and a donation of any amount is

welcomed. A seat in the Geary Theatre bearing one¹s name or the name of a loved one will be added for a gift of $1,000 or more.”

“This great old theatre has been in our lives for the past 50 years. I holds memories of performances and productions that are priceless to the college and surrounding communities. It has become our cultural

touchstone,” Chancellor Joe Peterson said.

The son of Elmo G. Geary, whom the Geary Theatre was named, is spearheading the effort to raise the necessary funds to achieve the

$100,000/100 day goal.

In a letter sent out to alumni and friends, Eward A. Geary, president of the alumni executive board, wrote about his father¹s career as a speech and drama teach. “My father had a deeply held co viction that the ability to stand on one¹s feet before an audience to deliver a speech or enact a dramatic role formed an indispensable part of a complete education.”

He wrote that the Geary Theatre has reached the end of its effective life as a public performance space. “A building that represented a major

advance in 1960 is now seriously inadequate in terms of seismic safety, public accommodations, and support and performance spaces for a modern academic theater program.

“Happily, the college’s architects have come up with a plan that will preserve the historic theatre while modernizing its systems and facilities and also making it a centerpiece in a much needed academic building for other college programs housed in cramped and makeshift

spaces.”

“The importance of maintaining the Geary Theatre and a place where a number of arts can come together is vital for the soul of this community.  The Geary Theatre has become a home for our graduates and alumni, it is a place of renewal and remembrance.  I believe it is an important landmark for Price, CEU and USU Eastern.  It’s loss would be felt for a very long time.  Remember Earth without art is just ‘eh,’” added Corey Ewan, Ph.D. USU Eastern theatre professor.

For more information on the Geary Challenge, contact King at 435.613.5246.

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