HART breaks ground on new theater
Haywood Arts Regional Theater will officially break ground on its new Second Stage, the Daniel and Belle Fangmeyer Theater, at 4 p.m. Sept. 28 on the grounds of the Performing Arts Center at the Shelton House.
The $1 million project with actually begin construction later in the winter but the public is invited to formally initiate the project which will be followed by a Champagne reception.
HART’s Stage II fund drive began last summer and to date the theater has raised about $650,000 toward construction. The new theater will include a bistro/café, and a 150 seat flexible theater space which can be reconfigured in many ways including dinner theater and cabaret.
The facility will allow HART to double its performance schedule becoming an area attraction that should play a major role in the economic development of the region. Currently HART’s annual economic impact on Haywood County is $2.4 million, yet the theater is limited in its ability to run full time because of the scheduling of the single theater space HART owns. During the 26-week tourist season HART is currently closed nearly half the time.
Stage II will allow HART to rotate between the two spaces, offering performances every week on one of the two stages, transforming the theater into one of the area’s major attractions. It will also free up space for outside groups and individuals to rent the facilities for other functions.
HART is continuing its fund raising efforts in hopes of having the majority of the costs of construction paid for before the facility is completed. This will free up funds for theater staffing and programming. Anyone interested in contributing to HART’s Stage II Campaign can send donations to HART P.O. Box 2014, Waynesville, NC 28786. HART is a non-profit charitable organization.