THURSDAY, AUG. 27 — Williamston Theatre founders, staff and supporters — along with members of the Williamston Area Chamber of Commerce — gathered Thursday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony honoring the new name of the Williamston Theatre building. The home of the group, now christened the Zynda Building, sits at 122 S. Putnam St. in downtown Williamston.
The building has been the home of the Williamston Theatre since 2006, when local businessman Steve Zynda provided the building to the group virtually rent free, asking just enough to cover insurance and property taxes. This arrangement gave the fledgling theater a permanent performance and office space without the financial burden of a long-term lease or mortgage. Last year, Zynda offered the building to the group at a reduced price and also helped encourage eight other donors to aid Williamston Theatre in fundraising. With the help of Zynda’s extensive support, the group was able to purchase the building before the end of 2014.
“Steve’s support was critical,” said John Lepard, Williamston Theatre executive director. “Non-profit arts organizations are most vulnerable during their infancy. Steve’s choice to support our building needs really gave us a launching pad from which to take off. Now, although we still struggle to raise operating funding, we have a much stronger financial picture than many of our colleagues in Michigan. We can contemplate planned growth and expansion, instead of just struggling to make payroll every week.”
Williamston Theatre recently wrapped up its ninth season, boasting a personal box office record of over 11,000 patrons attending shows throughout the season. The 2015-2016 season will open in September with “Rounding Third,” an encore performance from the groups first season. The comedic play follows two coaches throughout the course of a Little League season.
Williamston Theatre will also host its annual fundraiser, the Season Launch Party, on Sept. 10.
For more information regarding fundraisers or the 2015-2016 season, visit the group’s website at williamstontheatre.org or call (517) 655-7469.