LISBON — Students from across Lisbon will join together in a benefit performance at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, in the Lisbon High School Gymnasium to raise awareness about local arts programs and the need for better facilities to support the programs.
Taking part will be Philip W. Sugg Middle School students, Lisbon High School band, chorus, and string programs, members of the high school and middle school drama programs and dancers from the Alma Lea Dance Studio.
The nonprofit organization Lisbon Performing Arts Center Initiative was founded in 2018 to begin the process of raising money for renovation of the old gymnasium at Lisbon High School into a state-of-the-art performance space for theater, music and dance.
The initiative’s goal is to gather information from school and community stakeholders, establish a fundraising campaign that would help bring this project to fruition and come up with some cost-effective solutions to make the space more viable in the interim.
A major step in the process was made last fall when stakeholders met with members of the Scott Simmons Architect firm. The information and feedback collected from the meetings yielded two visions of what the space could look like.
The group weighed the merits of both proposals and arrived at the decision to move forward with the second option, which flips the stage to the opposite end of the space, and features a wide stage, more audience seating and a much more multi-functional backstage area.
“A project of this nature is long overdue,” said Jonathan Carsley, music director at Lisbon High School. “We are very excited about the prospect of having a new performance space in our district.”
Pace, who’s in charge of the dance program, said, “I am proud to showcase the Performance Team Dancers for this event, which will be supporting the fundraising efforts for the renovation of the ‘old gym’ to a true performing arts center. Our studio was established in 1991 and has never had a local place to hold our two to three performances per year. I am thrilled to see a passion for the performing arts grow in our community over the time I have owned my dance studio.”
She said dancers from her studio have to use space out of town. “Now to potentially have the opportunity to bring our dancers ‘home,’ rather than continuing to rent out facilities outside of our community, such as the Crooker Theater in Brunswick, is something I am looking forward to. Theater space in our area is in high demand with limited availability. There will be many interested in this space once it’s complete.”
The proposed new space not only features a wider stage and raised seating for nearly 480, but will also include a new baby grand piano, practice rooms for students to rehearse music in, state-of-the-art lighting and sound and storage for large equipment, like the district’s choral risers.
Carsley said it will also be wonderful to use the space for small solo and chamber recitals or jazz combos. Additionally, the space could be used to bring in guest artists for a public concert series.
For more information on how you could assist with the initiative, contact Angela Shambarger, of the LPACI organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seating for the show is by suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for students.
2017 Lisbon Music Program during a trip to Washington D.C.
TOP PHOTO: The Lisbon High School and Sugg Middle School band and chorus during a trip to Washington DC in 2017. (Submitted photo)