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Community invited to MOV Players picnic

Group to hold pledge drive next weekend

MARIETTA — The Mid-Ohio Valley Players are inviting members of the community to join them for a picnic on Saturday to meet the people that keep the all-volunteer theater alive and to learn how they could get involved.

“We like to get to know people and that’s what this picnic is for,” said Kermit Polan, president.

“We have a lot of children involved in the Jr. Players whose parents will come watch rehearsals and we never get to really know them. Same for some of our older members that may not be at every event; we want them to come out and visit with us.”

Bonnie Rake, board member and treasurer, said this is a chance for the community that may want to get involved with community theater to learn how their skills could be needed.

“People may find out about something that could interest them,” she said. “We have people that have lived in the area forever and aren’t aware that we are even around. The fact that our theater is strictly all volunteers is something people don’t realize.”

The picnic this Saturday is an open invitation to anyone in the community. Polan said the main course is usually chicken and that everyone else brings a covered dish or something to drink.

“We are constantly looking for volunteers,” said Rake.

“There are so many different people needed for a variety of things. We need people to help set up or to paint. Not everyone that volunteers with the theater has to be able to act and we want people to understand that.”

Polan said MOVP loves to see anyone interested in any aspect of the theater getting involved. The MOVP has a little more than 100 members, according to Polan.

“There are plenty of opportunities in the theater. It’s just about people coming out to learn about what they could do,” he said.

On Sunday, MOVP is inviting the public to a memorial for a long-time member of the theater, Marlene Somerville. Somerville died in early March and Rake said this is a day dedicated to celebrating her life.

“She was so active in our theater and actually founded Jr. Players,” said Rake. “We felt that this was the right thing to do for her.”

The memorial will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the theater, which is located at 229 Putnam St. in Marietta.

The Pledge Drive is going to be the following weekend and that’s one of the biggest fundraisers for the Mid-Ohio Valley Players. Each production can cost up to $1,500.

“This is a huge part of our business,” said Polan.

Calls are made to people that have donated before for another chance to fund the theater.

“Our goal is $5,000 but the community has stood behind our theater and last year we raised beyond our goal,” said J.R. Wells, pledge drive organizer. “Every bit donated goes right back into the theater so we really depend on community support.”

Upcoming productions include one by the Jr. Players called “Princess Whatshername” on Aug. 4, 5 and 6. In October, the theater will be putting on “Dracula” and auditions for that production are set to begin early next month. To donate to MOVP, contact the theater at 740-374-9434.

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