GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A local theater company is trying to organize an encore performance, after the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close their doors in 2020.
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Jay Harnish dreamed of a place where artists could grow in Grand Rapids.
“During that time, we were a group of actors putting together small shows,” said Harnish. “And we were looking for a space to perform.”
In 2008, he founded Dog Story Theater. The nonprofit theater operates as a venue, where other people can produce shows.
For 15 years, Dog Story Theater provided a safe place for creatives to have a home, perfect their art, and develop professionally, at a price tag that was definitely “off Broadway.”
One person that the theater has affected is Brook Bruce.
“So, I started acting, and I joined the board, and it was a blast,” said Bruce.
However, she credits the environment of the theater with helping more than just her acting.
“Having Dog Story as a place where I felt welcomed, where I felt like I could be something, that was life changing,” said Bruce.
Dog Story Theater is working on a revival of their unique model, and needs some support from the community to do it. Currently, the theater’s GoFundMe campaign is at about 30%.
According to Harnish, if the number of people who follow the theater on Facebook contributed around $35, the amount it costs to see a show, they would exceed their fundraising goal. Harnish also says that once they get the doors back open, their next goal is to add seating capacity, as well as make upgrades to the stage.
Dog Story Theater’s GoFundMe page can be found here.
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