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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Prospect Theater Project unfurls new wings

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If you go poking around the empty building of the Prospect Theater Project’s (PTP) old location, what you’ll likely find is the old, dusty cocoon of the project.
To find the butterfly, you’ll have to go to 1214 K St. (just a little more tucked into downtown Modesto).
With airy ceilings and graphite walls (and just enough industrial touches to let you know that “the little theater with an edge” still has its edge), the new space is already burgeoning with the artistic energy that has sustained the PTP for so many years.
What started in concept in 1999 has given way to a full-blown theater company that proves not only is theater a living art, it is also a necessary element – even in the Central Valley – so necessary, that the PTP is a registered 501c nonprofit agency.
Don’t let me give you the wrong idea though; this project has never really been a caterpillar. I’ve been a patron since 2003 and have never seen them put on a performance that resembled anything as banal as an insect.
That being said, however, I’m not above campaigning for a performance of “The Metamorphosis” should the opportunity occur.
While not a caterpillar, the project has had growing pains. Most theaters of this size rent out space to other companies to help pay the bills. The PTP’s previous digs, however, were so small that sets were built on the stage. A modest theater, the PTP sustained its little space on Scenic Dr. with ticket sales and the occasional donation.
Kathleen Ennis, co-founder of the PTP and its managing director, said, “I would rather have needles driven into my eyes, frankly, than sit here and say, ‘Hey can you donate $50?’”
As Ennis is also a dedicated and talented actor, needles weren’t the best option. Cue Jenny Abbott, board member of the PTP and grant writer at Modesto Junior College.
Abbott initiated a capital campaign that is not only being conducted in a graceful and dignified manner; it has also gained the donations of several thousands of community members that agree on the importance of theater on a local scale.
The donations tallied out to the tune of enough cabbage to rent out a brand new space – a space that is big enough to hold a workshop to build sets in and to contain the creative energy of the project’s members. I mentioned Ennis is one of the original co-founders the other? California State University, Stanislaus’s very own Jack Souza, an adjunct instructor for the Theatre Department.
The PTP’s first production in the new space is a play entitled “Next Fall” and will be showing from Feb. 14 to March 2.
Tickets are available for $20. But if that’s too steep for your student budget, the PTP also hosts a student rush night for each play where tickets are available for only $5. This play’s rush night is Feb. 27.
For more information about show times, volunteer opportunities and ticket prices, call 209-549-9341 or visit: prospecttheaterproject.org.

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Prospect Theater Project unfurls new wings