A PLACE FOR US! BE A PART OF IT!

$19,780 of $55,550 goal

Raised by 208 people in 36 months
The story is simple and many of you know it already.  Theatre is food for the soul and our theatre project, centered in Latrobe PA, will attempt to feed the soul of our region by providing the kind of theatre that can sustain and nourish people through the most difficult of times.

To those who have already given, thank you.  Those words feel inadequate, but they are the only ones I have. Thank you.

Thank you for believing that this project is important.

Thank you for supporting the project either by donating yourselves or encouraging others to donate.  (Both have proved to be very helpful.)

Thank you for understanding that the kind of theatre we will be producing is increasingly necessary as the quality of our civil discourse seems to be deteriorating.

We are in the business of reminding people what it means to be human beings, and we do so by choosing the kinds of plays that contain lines like these:

"Years ago, my mother used to say to me, she'd say "In this world, Elwood, you can be oh so so smart, or oh so pleasant." Well, for years I was smart... I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart."

"When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness To surrender dreams - -this may be madness; to seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness! And maddest of all - to see life as it is and not as it should be!"

"Deliberate cruelty is not forgiveable."

"Life is kind of beautiful if you let it come to you.   But the trouble is, people forget that.   I know I did. I was right in the thick of it:  fighting and scratching and clawing.   Regular jungle.  One day it just kind of struck me: I wasn’t having any fun. Just relaxed.  Thirty-five years ago, that was.   And I’ve been a happy man ever since."

"To love another person is to see the face of God."

From the earliest Greek plays (“Of all creatures that can feel and think, we women are the worst treated things alive”) to Shakespeare ("The course of true love never did run smooth") all the way to the present ("Even when the dark comes crashing through, and when you need a friend to carry you, when you're broken on the ground, you will be found.")

Lines like those can inspire and nourish.  We will produce those kinds of comedies, dramas, and musicals.  Why?  You've heard me say it before...because it's important that we do.

Now...do I want you to give more than you already have?  No.  I am already embarrassed that I have asked for so much. Then what?  The contemporary musical "Dear Even Hansen" says it nicely:  "...when you need a friend to carry you, when you're broken on the ground, you will be found."  I believe that to be true, but how will they know where you are to find you? There is a lot of ground out there.  Well...YOU will tell them. That is what you can do for me.  Shout it out that this is a project that needs to be supported.  Shout that YOU have supported it and encourage anyone else you know to either support it or pass the word to someone who might.  Somewhere out there (another song lyric?) are people who have the wherewithal to help us.  I give you this from John Guare's play Six Degrees of Separation:

"I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people.  Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet.  The President of the United State, the gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names.  I find it extremely comforting that we're so close.  I also find it like Chinese water torture, that we're so close because you have find the right six people to make the right connection... I am bound, you are bound, to everyone on this planet by a trail of six people."

And so I ask  you for another favor.  Shout it out.  "The Cabaret Theatre in Latrobe PA will be good for theatre practitioners, for the community of Latrobe, for Westmoreland County, and for the entire region.  Support it in whatever way you can."  If we somehow find the right six people, our message will get to some people who can easily make this dream a reality.

I close with the phrase which, as I said earlier, doesn't work very well, but which must be used, because it's all we have...

Thank you.

John
+ Read More
Yes, yes, yes...I know that the video says it's Monday and it didn't get posted till Tuesday. Well...the reason for that is my inability to master uploading and downloading and all the rest of the routine that's necessary to produce one of these videos. Some things I can do well...but this uploading/downloading is not one of them...but it's finished and I hope you will be entertained a bit by it. Some of you will say that we are not collecting very much. To you I say that it takes a while for small donations to add up, but they do. And remember...this is not a sprint, but a marathon. We are in it for the long haul and we hope you are right there beside us. Thanks for hanging in there.
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Week two of our campaign has begun and sometimes, I must admit, that I feel guilty that his request for funding goes out to the very same people who have already been generous to us. Please, forgive me for that and realize that we do not want you to continue to give and give and give. There is a way that you can help, however, and that is to share our project with your friends. In this way, we can reach many, many more people and some of them may help us reach our goal. And so...thanks for giving in the past and for supporting us in the present.
+ Read More
Sharing is caring. As much as I have mocked that little statement over the years, today I am relying on it to help our theatre company (yours and mine) to overcome the latest hurdle thrown into our path. Here are two significant numbers that might be of some use: 4,443 and 33. At last count, 4,443 is the number of Facebook people so far who have seen what I posted shortly after discovering that the law firm of Nakles and Nakles representing the Greater Latrobe School District had formally sued the Westmoreland County Board of Tax Assessment Appeals and our Cabaret Theatre. (As you now know from that posting, GLSD wants our 501(c)(3) tax exempt theatre company to pay property taxes.) The second number, 33, is the number of people who “shared” the posting. 4,443 and 33 were the numbers that popped into my mind when I was reflecting on our most recent meeting in our quest for the Community Block Grant funding we need to get our theatre up and running.

On Tuesday June 26, we met with Dottie Staffen (State Senator Kim Ward’s District Representative) and Jason Rigone & Janet Thomas from the County’s Community Development Division. The take-away from the meeting was that, while access to government funds for our sprinkler system is possible, there is a time element involved in refining our Business Plan and getting it approved by various entities, including the federal agency that allots the funding. The process will further delay opening for an undetermined length of time—certainly longer than we ever anticipated. It was not the outcome we expected, and I was dismayed.

It wasn’t the need for strict accountability that bothered me. I fully understand that formal business plans, open bidding processes, and detailed applications are all necessary when dealing with taxpayer money. What dismayed me is the time element involved. If I were 36, I’m sure I wouldn’t be as concerned about time as I am now at age 73, soon to be 74. Those of us who are closer to the end than to the beginning have a real appreciation for the phrase “time is of the essence.” Let me be frank. I want to establish a theatre company that is dedicated to developing local talent, presenting professional-quality theatre productions of the finest plays from world dramatic literature, and doing it in an atmosphere that respects the art, the artist, and the audience. Doing this will take time and the less time we take in getting the theatre open means more time to do our real work. That’s what dismayed me and opened my eyes to the numbers 4,443 and 33.

Question: While we are fulfilling the time-consuming tasks of applying for a Community Development Block Grant, is it possible to do enough fundraising to get our project started, so that we can use the Block Grant to complete it?
Answer: 4,443 and 33. The translation of those numbers is “yes.” Here’s my proposition.

If I can convince half of the 4,443 people I reached with my last posting to contribute a little, the result would be a lot. And if I can convince half of the 4,443 to “share” the post with their Facebook friends, there’s no telling how big the “lot” would be. It’s the “power of the penny,” so to speak.

Check this out. Half of 4,443 is 2221.5. Let’s round to 2,222. If we could convince those 2,222 people to contribute a little ($5, $10, $25), I’m betting we could have enough to pay for the first step, getting the required drawings done by our local Greensburg companies AFP, AFC, AFS (Approved Fire Protection, Advanced Fire Company, Advanced Fire Suppression). The cost of generating these drawings is approximately $38,000. I think we can do this. And doing it will, I believe, activate the “bandwagon effect.” You know what that is. It’s what happens when a few courageous people get the wagon rolling—demonstrate that a project will be a success. And the process of success is what entices other people to “jump on the bandwagon.”

I believe that once we get this wagon rolling, there will be no stopping it. I believe it, because my life experience has taught me never to underestimate the power of people working together. Rich or poor doesn’t matter all that much. What matters is the “working together” to get a job done. Whether it’s a church festival, fireman’s fair, or save-the-playground campaign, you can bet that success always depends on “working together.” That’s what gets positive results and that’s what I’m asking you to do—to pitch in together with us. If we do, I’m certain that we WILL reach this goal, we WILL open The Cabaret Theatre, and each of us will be able to say with pride, “I helped that theatre get started.”

But what's in it for you? What's the reward? Of course, there’s the 501( c)(3) tax deduction, but we have something more for you and I think it’s much better than a handsome coffee mug or a shopping bag with our logo on it. Here it is.

CURTAIN TIME will be the Cabaret Theatre's version of PLAYBILL. The program for the current show will be in the center section, but the outer shell will remain the same for an entire year. If you look at the draft of the front page, you will see the beginning of a string of names which will continue throughout CURTAIN TIME. When we open, these will be names of all who have donated to us during this current drive as well as the names of those who have previously donated to us in any other way. The names will be listed alphabetically and not according to the size of the donation. Every single person who comes to The Cabaret for a show will see the names of those donors who stepped up when we needed them to. This "honor roll" program will run for at least one full year. When that time has expired, these names will be engraved on a plaque that will be prominently displayed in our lobby. Why? Because these people who stepped forward when the need was greatest... will always be remembered and warmly cherished.




Well, that's my pitch. Sharing is caring. I would like to close by reminding everyone that this project is not about me; it is about my deep belief that the Arts (and in particular theatre arts) are absolutely essential to the general health of the individual and the community. It is about my belief that it is important for us artists to hold a mirror up to society so that we can clearly demonstrate what a special gift it is to be a human being. And it is about my belief that if enough people recognize the dignity of the individual, the world can change. And that's what makes this a very worthwhile project. Local artists need a place to work and grow, and the communities we serve need to see and hear and experience what we have to say.

There are many ways to be a part of this project. One is by using this GoFundMe option; another is by sending your donation to: The Cabaret Theatre—101 C J. Michaels Lane—Jeannette, PA 15644.

Oh, and one last thing. Please check the website ( www.thecabarettheatre.com). I've re-done the whole site and if you want a more detailed description of how The Cabaret Theatre will be different from just about every other theatre in the country, it's all there. And besides, there are other fundraising opportunities outlined and you may want to spearhead one of them. Take a peek.

Thank you,
John
+ Read More
Sharing is caring. As much as I have mocked that little statement over the years, today I am relying on it to help our theatre company (yours and mine) to overcome the latest hurdle thrown into our path. Here are two significant numbers that might be of some use: 4,443 and 33. At last count, 4,443 is the number of Facebook people so far who have seen what I posted shortly after discovering that the law firm of Nakles and Nakles representing the Greater Latrobe School District had formally sued the Westmoreland County Board of Tax Assessment Appeals and our Cabaret Theatre. (As you now know from that posting, GLSD wants our 501(c)(3) tax exempt theatre company to pay property taxes.) The second number, 33, is the number of people who “shared” the posting. 4,443 and 33 were the numbers that popped into my mind when I was reflecting on our most recent meeting in our quest for the Community Block Grant funding we need to get our theatre up and running.

On Tuesday June 26, we met with Dottie Staffen (State Senator Kim Ward’s District Representative) and Jason Rigone & Janet Thomas from the County’s Community Development Division. The take-away from the meeting was that, while access to government funds for our sprinkler system is possible, there is a time element involved in refining our Business Plan and getting it approved by various entities, including the federal agency that allots the funding. The process will further delay opening for an undetermined length of time—certainly longer than we ever anticipated. It was not the outcome we expected, and I was dismayed.

It wasn’t the need for strict accountability that bothered me. I fully understand that formal business plans, open bidding processes, and detailed applications are all necessary when dealing with taxpayer money. What dismayed me is the time element involved. If I were 36, I’m sure I wouldn’t be as concerned about time as I am now at age 73, soon to be 74. Those of us who are closer to the end than to the beginning have a real appreciation for the phrase “time is of the essence.” Let me be frank. I want to establish a theatre company that is dedicated to developing local talent, presenting professional-quality theatre productions of the finest plays from world dramatic literature, and doing it in an atmosphere that respects the art, the artist, and the audience. Doing this will take time and the less time we take in getting the theatre open means more time to do our real work. That’s what dismayed me and opened my eyes to the numbers 4,443 and 33.

Question: While we are fulfilling the time-consuming tasks of applying for a Community Development Block Grant, is it possible to do enough fundraising to get our project started, so that we can use the Block Grant to complete it?
Answer: 4,443 and 33. The translation of those numbers is “yes.” Here’s my proposition.

If I can convince half of the 4,443 people I reached with my last posting to contribute a little, the result would be a lot. And if I can convince half of the 4,443 to “share” the post with their Facebook friends, there’s no telling how big the “lot” would be. It’s the “power of the penny,” so to speak.

Check this out. Half of 4,443 is 2221.5. Let’s round to 2,222. If we could convince those 2,222 people to contribute a little ($5, $10, $25), I’m betting we could have enough to pay for the first step, getting the required drawings done by our local Greensburg companies AFP, AFC, AFS (Approved Fire Protection, Advanced Fire Company, Advanced Fire Suppression). The cost of generating these drawings is approximately $38,000. I think we can do this. And doing it will, I believe, activate the “bandwagon effect.” You know what that is. It’s what happens when a few courageous people get the wagon rolling—demonstrate that a project will be a success. And the process of success is what entices other people to “jump on the bandwagon.”

I believe that once we get this wagon rolling, there will be no stopping it. I believe it, because my life experience has taught me never to underestimate the power of people working together. Rich or poor doesn’t matter all that much. What matters is the “working together” to get a job done. Whether it’s a church festival, fireman’s fair, or save-the-playground campaign, you can bet that success always depends on “working together.” That’s what gets positive results and that’s what I’m asking you to do—to pitch in together with us. If we do, I’m certain that we WILL reach this goal, we WILL open The Cabaret Theatre, and each of us will be able to say with pride, “I helped that theatre get started.”

But what's in it for you? What's the reward? Of course, there’s the 501( c)(3) tax deduction, but we have something more for you and I think it’s much better than a handsome coffee mug or a shopping bag with our logo on it. Here it is.

CURTAIN TIME will be the Cabaret Theatre's version of PLAYBILL. The program for the current show will be in the center section, but the outer shell will remain the same for an entire year. If you look at the draft of the front page, you will see the beginning of a string of names which will continue throughout CURTAIN TIME. When we open, these will be names of all who have donated to us during this current drive as well as the names of those who have previously donated to us in any other way. The names will be listed alphabetically and not according to the size of the donation. Every single person who comes to The Cabaret for a show will see the names of those donors who stepped up when we needed them to. This "honor roll" program will run for at least one full year. When that time has expired, these names will be engraved on a plaque that will be prominently displayed in our lobby. Why? Because these people who stepped forward when the need was greatest... will always be remembered and warmly cherished.




Well, that's my pitch. Sharing is caring. I would like to close by reminding everyone that this project is not about me; it is about my deep belief that the Arts (and in particular theatre arts) are absolutely essential to the general health of the individual and the community. It is about my belief that it is important for us artists to hold a mirror up to society so that we can clearly demonstrate what a special gift it is to be a human being. And it is about my belief that if enough people recognize the dignity of the individual, the world can change. And that's what makes this a very worthwhile project. Local artists need a place to work and grow, and the communities we serve need to see and hear and experience what we have to say.

There are many ways to be a part of this project. One is by using this GoFundMe site and another is by sending your donation to: The Cabaret Theatre—101 C J. Michaels Lane—Jeannette, PA 15644.

Oh, and one last thing. Please check the website ( www.thecabarettheatre.com). I've re-done the whole site and if you want a more detailed description of how The Cabaret Theatre will be different from just about every other theatre in the country, it's all there. And besides, there are other fundraising opportunities outlined and you may want to spearhead one of them. Take a peek.

Thank you,
John
+ Read More
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$19,780 of $55,550 goal

Raised by 208 people in 36 months
Created August 28, 2015
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$40
Anonymous
20 days ago
$100
David Seremet
20 days ago

The widow ‘s mite.

$25
Craig Soich
20 days ago

keep the momentum going, John!

PW
$300
Pat & Maureen Wood
20 days ago

Forward always forward

SY
$100
Sister Rita Yeasted
21 days ago

John, I hope you find richer friends, but I shall keep your intention in my prayers. Best wishes, dear friend.

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