September 7, 2013

An auditorium for all

The Oskaloosa Herald


George Daily Community Auditorium offers many cultural opportunities.

Jessica Vetter, operations manager at George Daily Community Auditorium, said Friends of the Auditorium is a non-profit organization. She noted there are corporate sponsors that help with things like contract fees for bringing in performances.

Vetter said because they want to make professional theater affordable in Oskaloosa, ticket prices are kept as low as possible.

“Really, the professional touring season that we bring in is an educational opportunity in and of itself,” said Vetter. “So much of what we do is dependent on volunteers.”

How many volunteers?

Vetter said it took more than 80 volunteers over the course of a day to bring “Spamalot” to Oskaloosa and make it work at the auditorium recently.

Friends of the Auditorium subsidize any losses through the season and helps bring in educational workshops and residencies, explained Vetter. She added, the Friends of the Auditorium supports the year-round youth theater program, as well.

A 12-week summer camp at the auditorium just wrapped up and an after-school theater program is set to begin shortly.

Missoula Children’s Theatre is yet another opportunity for area young people at the auditorium. Vetter explained that Missoula Children’s Theatre is in Oskaloosa for a week and provide everything one would need to put on a play, including sets, costumes and props. About 60 local children from kindergarten through high school are then cast for a particular play.

“It's always such an incredible thing to watch happen,” said Vetter.

Involving young people in theater can teach them things like confidence and other valuable skills, Vetter said. As an adult, it's just as valuable, she said.

“Theater teaches us about our lives,” said Vetter, pointing out that theater is one of the oldest forms of story telling. “There's nothing quite like live theater.”

There are also opportunities for high school and William Penn University students, as well as community members interested in theater, at George Daily Auditorium, noted Vetter.

The annual Friends Drive fund-raiser for the auditorium started up again recently. Vetter said this comes at the same time when they announce what's coming for the new season at the auditorium.

The upcoming season is all “family friendly,” Vetter pointed out. Season tickets are available for the professional season and three symphony concerts.

To find out more about what shows are coming to George Daily Community Auditorium, visit http://www.georgedaily.org/professional-season/.


Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.