The school said the iconic amphitheater at the north end of the campus is a vital fundraising project. Some 85% of the project’s $ 2.5 million has been raised, according to Rick Hedberg, MSU’s vice president for advancement and executive director of the Development Foundation. But, he said, there is still work to be done.
“We are so close to completing our fundraising for this much needed renovation,” Hedberg said. “We have a chance to make significant improvements to the facility. If we can meet our fundraising goal, this will be one of the premier outdoor amphitheatres in the upper Midwest. I’m sure people will love the upgrades.
To strengthen these efforts, MSU has partnered with Twice Blessed this season to maximize donations through a generous grant from the St. Joseph Community Health Foundation. The Twice Blessed program will match donations up to $ 5,000.
“The Twice Blessed campaign is important for us to reach our fundraising goal,” said Chad Gifford, artistic director of MSU Summer Theater. “Anytime we can stretch those dollars further, it really makes a difference in how quickly we reach our goals. It’s amazing that we have already raised so much money, so I have no doubts that we can achieve that end goal for this year.
The first phase of the project began in October 2020 and ended before the start of the 56th season of Summer Theater last summer, according to the school, and focused on accessibility, including integration disabled seats in each section, increased space for aisles and handrails, and replacement of the upper deck.
Phase two began immediately after the summer season and is expected to end in June 2022, in time for a full 57th season. Phase two includes a complete renovation of the existing complex, including bathrooms, ticket office, locker rooms and offices, as well as a new plaza, drive-thru and lower-level concessions.
“It’s amazing to see all of these changes happening,” said Gifford. “Prior to this project, our changes to the Summer Theater were mostly minor. Building entirely new structures is amazing to see and it’s something we all really can’t wait to see come to fruition. “