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Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Spare change sought for new KU theater

April 9, 2003

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John Staniunas wants $6.32 from you and 1,999 of your friends.

Staniunas, artistic director for University Theatre at Kansas University, has started a pocket-change fund-raising campaign to construct a third theater at Murphy Hall.

"We're hopeful the university will get us a donor eventually," Staniunas said. "In the meantime, we just said we realize budget cuts are everywhere, but that doesn't mean we can't be clever and proactive about making our lives happier."

Staniunas said University Theatre leaders have wanted a third stage for years. The William Inge Theatre, which seats 100, is too small for most performances. The Crafton-Preyer Theatre, which seats 1,181, isn't intimate enough for many performances, he said.

They'd eventually like another building. Until then, they're raising money for risers, platforms, a stage and seating that would turn the stage at the Crafton-Preyer Theatre into a theater of its own, called Stage Too!

Staniunas said it would take about $50,000 to complete the theater. Student Senate earmarked $5,000 for the project.

He decided to solicit donations of $6.32 from 2,000 people, in part, because it would raise $12,640, more than 25 percent of the project's cost. He also likes the way "six thirty-two" sounds when spoken aloud.

"It kind of rolls off the tongue," he said. "It's like good playwriting technique."

To donate to the Stage Too! campaign, send checks made payable to "University Theatre Stage Too!" to University Theatre, 1530 Naismith Drive, Murphy Hall, Room 317, Lawrence 66045.

Staniunas plans to raise the $50,000 by Sept. 1. He wants Stage Too! in place by the opening of Cabaret in November, scheduled to be the first performance there.

Other scheduled fund-raisers include a garage sale, tap-dance class and a cabaret concert.

"I'm confident we can do it," Staniunas said. "And it's fun."


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