Mid-Ohio Valley Players to hold pledge drive

MARIETTA — The Mid-Ohio Valley Players will kick off its fifth annual pledge drive on July 21.

The fundraiser generally raises $5,000 for the organization as volunteers spend two days calling supporters and members asking for donations of $25 or more. The pledge drive will wrap up Aug. 18.

J.R. Wells, past president of community theater group who has spearheaded the pledge drive for the past few years, said it has been a successful way to keep the historic theater in operation.

Established in 1959, the Mid-Ohio Valley Players is Marietta’s oldest running theater company. It has been at the Putnam Street theater since the 1970s.

The bulk of the funding for the theater comes through grants, which in recent years have dropped off, Mid-Ohio Valley Players President Kermit Polan said.

“For the last few years the grants have been down due to the economy,” Polan said. “So we are looking for extra support from the community.”

Among the successful shows for the 2017-2018 season were “Dracula,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Always, Patsy Cline.” The pledge drive raises funds to pay fees and royalties for shows.

The next production will be the “The Name of the Gnome Is…” by the Mid-Ohio Valley Junior Players. The original musical by Kay Davis Doak and Wendy O’Brien features dozens of youth from the Mid-Ohio Valley.

In addition to the pledge drive, a memorial fund in honor of Junior Players founder Marlene Somerville has been established through the Marietta Community Foundation. Somerville passed away in 2017.

The 2018-2019 season will kick off in September with “Harmony Romances,” a sequel to the popular “Ladies of Harmony.”

Funds raised also help with the operating expenses of the theater company. Utilities for the 103-year-old building can be expensive, Polan said.

Most of the costs, but not all, can be covered through ticket sales, Wells said. Ticket prices are from $7 to $12 for plays and $9 to $14 for musicals.

Tax deductible donations can be sent to MOVP, 229 Putnam St., P.O. Box 814, Marietta, OH 45750. Write checks to MOVP.