Lawton Community Theatre receives grants for upgrades and renova - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lawton Community Theatre receives grants for upgrades and renovations

(Source KSWO) (Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -You can soon see some big changes and improvements at the Lawton Community Theatre, thanks to two grants from local organizations.

Last week, the McMahon Foundation donated $19,000 and the Terry K. Bell Charitable Trust donated $14,000 to the theatre. They are using the money for a new sound and light board, as well as getting a new marquee, and renovations to the exterior of the building.

The Lawton Community Theatre is the longest running community theatre in the state and some of their equipment is just as old as the building, which was built about 60 years ago. They still use floppy disks for their sound board and have lights from the 1980's.

Albert Rivas is no stranger to being in the spotlight.

He's been acting and working behind the scenes at the Lawton Community Theatre for over nine years, and he's tired of problems they face daily with the lights or sound in the theatre.

"It's difficult at times to hear clearly or to hear at all and then you wonder if they can you hear you," said Rivas.

But soon, those issues will be behind them. They're going digital with their sound and audio board, so Zack Aschim, the technical director will be able to be sitting with the audience or on the floor behind the curtain controlling everything from an I-pad or remote control. He says it will save them a lot of time.

"It will be so much easier to use," said Aschim. "It will have features we've never seen in this theatre before."

The theatre is like a second home to many of the workers and actors. Almost every actor and employee is also a volunteer, so they feel honored the community is helping them with funding and giving back after many years of hard work.

"It's like Christmas," said Aschim.

He says he's excited to not only improve the quality of their performances, but make his job easier and give the audience a better overall experience. He says he's counting down the days until April 14th which will be their first show with the new gear.

"We've been working with this old equipment for many years now, and we've done it well, but to be provided this funding is going to take us to the next level," said Rivas.

The theatre still needs about $25,000 to cover the exterior renovations, so they have a few fundraisers coming up. March 30th through April 2nd, they will have a dinner and comedy show for $40.00 at the Centenary United Methodist Church.

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