Thursday, November 11, 2010

Arts Reporting: Hill Country Community Theatre near Marble Falls Ends Paid Staff Positions

Received directly:

Hill Country Community Theatre

Hill Country Community Theatre to Return to All-Volunteer Status

NOVEMBER 11, 2010 -- Buffeted by the effects of the economic downturn, the Hill Country Community Theatre (HCCT) Board of Governors has voted to return operations of the theatre to an all-volunteer status and not retain paid fulltime staff to help run the 25-year-old organization.

The theatre was operated on an all-volunteer basis from its founding in 1985 until 1999 when it hired its first executive director. This most recent action translates into letting go the theatre’s two current fulltime staffers, Executive Director Jim McDermott and Production Manager Stephanie Ellis.

In making the announcement, Board President Maris Lynne Long stressed that the organization plans to go ahead with the four remaining shows slated for HCCT’s 2010-2011 season.

“The board is committed to presenting the entire season schedule,” Ms. Long said. “Everyone is feeling the effect of these economic times; everyone is having to scale back and the theatre is no exception. But we’ve proven in the past that the people of this community are capable of producing quality community theatre and we plan to do it again.”

The Miracle Worker, this season’s second show, is currently playing at HCCT through November 21. Three other productions are slated through the summer of 2011: The Odd Couple, which will audition January 3 and 4 and run February 17 through March 6; Steel Magnolias, scheduled to run April 14 through May 1; and The Wizard of Oz, slated to run July 14-31. HCCT’s 2010-2011 season opener, Dracula: The Musical?, played September 16 through October 3.

“We’ve succeeded on a volunteer basis in the past and we are confident that we can continue into the future with that model. We look forward to many successful future seasons with the support of our Hill Country communities,” the board president said.

She also thanked Mr. McDermott and Ms. Ellis for their hard work and dedication during their tenures at HCCT. “Both these folks have worked tirelessly to contribute their expertise and professionalism to HCCT. We appreciate that and we wish them well,” Ms. Long said.

Hill Country Community Theatre is one of the oldest continuously operating community theatres in Texas. During its 25-year history, its productions have drawn audiences totaling more than 100,000. Some 5,000 volunteers from surrounding communities have given their time and support to HCCT’s operations, from management to acting to all aspects of backstage and onstage production. Hill Country Community Theatre is located at 2003 W. FM 2147 in Cottonwood Shores.

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