Vanity ‘haunted’ during pandemic

Sugar Creek Players prepare to bring online performances


Ever since the imposition of shelter at home, the Vanity Theater has been closed. Yet, passersby will notice a light still burns in the dark theater. This is called the ghost light, a custom for theaters between productions to symbolize that although the theater is closed, it is still alive.

Like everyone during the pandemic, Sugar Creek Players has struggled with how to survive. Since the income from plays accounts for well over 65% of the theater’s income, and there has been no play since February, the theater is strapped for cash. Without the generous business sponsors who paid in advance for the shows, the theater would be broke.

Since it is not yet safe for the public to come to the theater, the theater is coming to you. Ghost Light Productions is preparing three online plays. These will be made available on a pay-per-view basis to provide dramatic presentations, and to provide a way for the public to financially support the local community theater.

Details of this process will soon be posted the group’s website, and on its Facebook page.

The first offering will be a one-act play directed by Eric Margerum and staring Katie and Mike Melvin. Entitled “A Sure Thing” it is about an open chair at a chance encounter in a café. The availability of that chair evolves as this short play unfolds. This play will be available June 12.

The second play is set to “drop” July 5. This one is about an online fortune teller and those who are seeking resolution of their anxiety about what the future will bring. “Fortunes Read — Virtually” is a one act play featuring a cast of 11 and is directed by Keith Strain.

The first “live on stage” show, “Arsenic and Old Lace,” is scheduled for July 24-26 and July 31 through Aug. 2. This show was rehearsing when the shut-down orders hit. At this time, this play will be offered both live in the theater and online since organizers presume there will be limits to the theater’s seating capacity.

“Those of us who make up the Vanity theater thank you for the opportunity to bring live performances to our community and appreciate your support both in attending our plays and in paying money to do so,” a press release stated. “What we have all learned through this pandemic is that we already have the technology to experience things online that we once did only in person. Our appeal, our need, is for your continued support of our community theater, specifically through your purchase of tickets for online or in-theater performances.”

Donations may be mailed in check form to 122 S. Washington St., Crawfordsville, IN 47933 and made out to Sugar Creek Players or go to the website to make donations with a credit/debit card. While there look for a new page of memorials created to give the community a chance to honor Players such as Helen Milligan, Pete Vice, Barry Pool and Martha Morrison.


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