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Work set to begin on starry sky

By spring, the stars will once again shine bright over the Holland Theatre’s auditorium.

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The Cratchett family offers a toast as Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present look on during a dress rehearsal Monday for Windmill Productions’ A Christmas Carol at the Holland Theatre. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Kris Swisher, president of the historic theater’s board of directors, said at Monday’s annual meeting that the project will kick off after the Once Upon a Mattress performance the final weekend of January.

That means the theater will close until Center Stage Productions’ spring musical in April.

“We’ve got enough money that we can do it,” Mrs. Swisher said of the project to replace stars on the theater’s ceiling. “We will close at the end of January and we will open again with a celebration by mid-April.”

In addition to repairing the water-damaged interior ceiling, the approximately $100,000 project, which is being made possible entirely by private donations, will include several lighted stars on the ceiling, along with a machine that projects a moving layer of clouds between the audience and the ceiling, Mrs. Swisher said.

The bidding process for the project is currently under way, but a contract has not yet been awarded.

In other activity over the past year, the theater has installed a new main curtain and fire protection curtain along with new exits that are compliant with all fire codes. The lobby to the theater has also been remodeled by board member Phil Alloway and other volunteers.

“We’ve made some huge strides since last year,” Mrs. Swisher said.

The membership also voted on six board members and elected new members Ann Beck, Becky Warner and Dick Harmon, along with current members Natalie Comer, vice president; Thelma Matthews and Karen Medaris. They join existing board members Mrs. Swisher, Mr. Alloway, Mike Suman, secretary Pat Mitchell, treasurer Rebecca Wilkins and Dava Royer.

The small membership group was entertained by a performance of When You Wish upon a Star by the father-son duet of Nick and Nathan Wallace before watching a portion of the dress rehearsal for Windmill Productions’ A Christmas Carol musical that kicks off this weekend.

Show times for the Christmas classic are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Nov. 30; 2 p.m. Sunday and 5 p.m. Dec. 2. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students and senior citizens and $7 for children under age 12.

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