UTICA, N.Y. – The Players Theatre in Utica, like so many others, was forced to shut down when the Coronavirus first swept through the U.S.
When a theater shuts down they refer to it as “going dark." The lights had recently come back on after 18 months and shows were just returning to the stage, when the theater went dark once again -- literally.
At the beginning of December, a car hit a utility pole outside the theater, severing the power lines from the building. Since that time they’ve had to rely on a rented generator to provide power to the building. Mainly to provide heat to the building so the pipes wouldn’t freeze.
"The cost of the repair was something we were not prepared for at all”, says Stephen Wagner, the Players of Utica president. “The power lines that go from the pole to the building, actually run underground and they had to be replaced. It's very expensive, to the tune of $50,000 which is a big hit to our finances. On top of that, there's the cost of the generator and the fuel and all the rest of it".
Wagner says the theater, which is a non-profit organization, does have insurance, but he does not know the extent of what will be covered. He’s asking for the community’s financial support to help pay for the repairs and other costs.
If you are able to help, the best way to do so is to go to the Players of Utica website where you’ll find a support page that will instruct you how to make a donation.