The Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville prepares to celebrate its Golden Anniversary Era (2013 - 2015) as it welcomes Columbia, TN native Dr. John White as its new Director of Development. A reception will be held to welcome Dr. White, on Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6-7pm in the Playhouse lobby prior to the 7:30pm opening of Big River (sponsored by TAP Publishing Company). Tickets to the evening performance are still available, and all are welcome to the pre-show reception and post-show festivities.
An experienced university fundraiser, Dr. White served as Vice President of Troy University after participating in multi-million dollar campaigns at Auburn University, the University of Maryland (Baltimore County), and UT Chattanooga. He's an avid outdoorsman and writer. His articles have appeared in sporting magazines and historical journals.
As a filmmaker, Dr. White has just completed a documentary with Dr. Mike Birdwell of Tennessee Tech about the making of Sergeant York (Warner Bros., 1941). He also developed Georgia Public Broadcasting's Pointing Dog Social Club show featuring musician/playwright Jim Wann (Pump Boys & Dinettes) of Chattanooga.
Dr. White joins the CCP on a multi-year contract, teaming with Playhouse Board and Staff to ensure that fundraising efforts address national foundations, corporations, government agencies, and planned giving programs, in addition to individual giving. Additionally, he will help plan the theater's upcoming anniversary events, which will celebrate the people and events that led to the Playhouse's founding (August, 1963 to July, 1965). Since that time, the Playhouse has grown to be one of the top regional theaters in rural America, serving more than 130,000 guests annually, and was named Tennessee's only rural Major Cultural Institution by the Tennessee Arts Commission
"Our 2012 search committee, led by Chair Ernie Poland and Vice-Chair Phil Magdich, brought us a highly-qualified professional," said former CCP Chair Rob Harrison.
Current Board Chair Wilson Jackson also congratulated Mr. Poland and his committee.
Also marking 20 years is the $2 million Playhouse expansion, funded by the 1987-1993 Silver Anniversary Campaign. The Adventure Theater, classrooms, studios, pavilions and technical shops were all created by architects Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, with conceptual drawings and designs by Doyle Vaden. The expansion opened thirty years after the first sale of Playhouse stock at $10 per share. (That stock was donated or repurchased by the new nonprofit CCP starting in 1969.)
CCP's drive for fundraising capacity and development staff began in 2007 with the Investing in the Dream campaign, which raised over $200K, funding a major upgrade to ticketing, customer and donor software via gifts from 140 contributors. Another major gift early in the new century was CCP's Main Street warehouse from Scot and Julie Shanks and Family, which is now the home of the Shanks Center for the Arts. The Center has art galleries, studios, classrooms, gift shop and offices run by Cumberland Artisans for Creative Expression, the Performing Arts Alliance, Downtown Crossville, Inc. and the Crossville Arts Council. The warehouse generates $50K to $100K per year for CCP in scenery and costume rentals and stores sets and costumes for Playhouse staples like 2012's Music Man, Sound of Music, Big River and Joseph — a key factor in CCP's saving $1 million in operating costs per year since ’07
Currently running at the Playhouse: the biographical Ginger Rogers musical Backwards in High Heels (rated PG, sponsored by Uplands Village) through Nov. 2; the bluegrass musical comedy Golden Boy of the Blue Ridge (rated PG) through Oct. 26; and the high energy party of song and dance Five Guys Named Moe (rated PG) through Oct. 27.
Upcoming events: Playhouse favorites Brenda Frye and Weslie Webster will appear on the Mainstage Sept. 29 in a concert that's filled with great music, comedy and special guest stars; A Sanders Family Christmas (rated G, sponsored by Stonehaus Winery) opens Nov 1; and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (rated G, sponsored by M. Stewart Galloway, MD/Cumberland Eye Center) opens on November 16.
Tickets and information are also available for Southern Stars Symphonic Brass and other events at www.ccplayhouse.com or by calling 931.484.5000. All CCP productions are made possible through sponsor support, with additional support provided by the Tennessee Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts.