Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Kerasotes to Donate Varsity to Stage Co.

Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole unveiled news this morning at his annual State of the City Address that Kerasotes Theatres will donate the shuttered Varsity Theater for the new home of The Stage Co.
Just yesterday, I spoke with one of the Kerasotes’ brothers, and after several years and more intensely the last several weeks and months, I am proud to announce today that the Varsity Theater will soon be donated to the community and will be available to become the permanent home of The Stage Company and hopefully some other not-for-profit organizations, such as Carbondale Community Arts.

That property will then become the Varsity Arts Center, a community-oriented, visual and performing arts center that will combine the nostalgia and romanticism of the past with the modern conveniences of the present.

Now, there is still much work that needs to be done, to renovate the property and to build proper offices, community rooms and staging areas, but this is a dream come true for many. It is certainly something I am very excited about and it will return the Varsity Theater to an active, integral part of the downtown entertainment atmosphere.

Several people are responsible for making this happen. First, of course, the Kerasotes family and Kerasotes Theaters company should be thanked and thanked again. Also, we should thank Trace Brown and Charlie Brown and Associates for doing a thorough inspection of the property and detailing an appraisal that makes it financially worthwhile for the company to donate it to us. And, without a doubt, all the people that have supported me behind the scenes (pun intended) to work with the property owners to get to this point… that specifically includes people like Blanche and Fred Sloan and Trish and John Guyon, who have all kept hoping and pushing to see something come to fruition. I hope they’re as excited about this as I am.

Congratulations Carbondale, not only will this be a boost for the Stage Co., but also for the Strip along South Illinois Avenue

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