Sunday theater

Area residents were treated to first-class theater Sunday afternoon with the production of “To Kill A Mockingbird” by the Montana Repertory Theatre.
The theatrical company reciprocated the compliment, saying the large crowd at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center was “the best we’ve had so far” on its nationwide tour.
More than 500 tickets were sold for the afternoon performance, filling the entire orchestra level and spilling into the first few rows of the balcony. The audience in-cluded students from Humboldt, Moran and Iola schools, the local college, and even a few from as far away as Kansas City who caught note of the upcoming performance through widespread advertising.
The show was made possible by funding from the Sleeper Family Trust. A big production like “Mockingbird” costs about $25,000, said Susan Raines, executive director of the Bowlus. Last winter’s production by The Letterman was slightly more, “Mockingbird” $1,000 less.
The price tag includes performers’ fees and expenses, cost of crew, advertising, rental equipment, lodging and travel expenses.
Ticket prices were $17 for orchestra level and $15 for balcony. At both levels students get a half-price rate. For students whose teachers are teaching the book in class the tickets came at a bargain price at $5. About 150 students took advantage of that discount.

DO THE MATH and you can see even a soldout auditorium doesn’t produce even half of the money needed to bring good theater to our doorstep. Yet because of generous subsidies from the Sleeper Family Trust, the Helen Gates Whitehead Trust, the Daniels Trust, the Beth Ray Trust, the Bowlus Trust and other benefactors, performances of the highest quality have become a tradition on the Bowlus stage.
What a splendid gift-that-keeps-on-giving they have made to our fortunate community.

— Susan Lynn

N.B. There is no better way to keep a family name before the public than to establish a trust that will provide income in perpetuity for the Bowlus Fine Arts Center, either to subsidize outstanding performances or to keep the Center up to date. Director Raines can tell you how to go about it. Give her a call.