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Geipel Center Opens with Donor Recognition, SRTC’s “Mame”

The brand new Geipel Center for Performing Arts, the culmination of Sanford’s Front & Center Campaign, opened with great fanfare last week with an event for donors and a weekend of performances of the Sanford Repertory Theatre Company’s spring musical, Mame.
The Development Office and the Front & Center Campaign organized a reception for the generous donors who contributed more than $5000 to the campaign, held on the evening of Wednesday, February 10th. Donors were treated to cocktails, tours of the new center, and a “sneak peak” of the final dress rehearsal for Mame.

The show opened the following evening, Thursday the 11th, with a sellout crowd. Lucky ticketholders had a chance to tour the facility, and the evening featured a glamorous atmosphere with free refreshments, spotlights outside, and even a red carpet. The outstanding cast and crew brought the story of the eccentric bohemian Auntie Mame to fabulous life for the packed house.

Performing Arts Department Chair Clint Williams described the new opportunities the program will have with its state-of-the-art facilities. With a larger stage and more room to move sets around, SRTC will be able to present bigger shows. But the new Geipel Center will also expand the range of course offerings within Sanford’s already vibrant Performing Arts program.

“The new Geipel Center for Performing Arts will allow the Performing Arts Department room to make the most of our curriculum,” Clint said. “With ample room for both bands and choirs to rehearse, we can also have dance classes, general music classes, and music technology classes happening simultaneously. Moving into next school year, we are discussing multiple elective offerings, but will definitely have computer music classes in our new Mac computer lab. Other options are dance classes and technical theater classes.”

The festive opening of the Geipel Center was a fitting celebration of the hard work and generous support that have made the Front & Center capital campaign such a success. With a goal of $7 million to improve many aspects of Sanford’s campus, the campaign has raised $5.8 million so far. That includes $130,000 from Sanford families who purchased bricks in the walkway outside the Geipel Center and seats in the new auditorium. In addition, the campaign has recently finished a 3:1 match from the Edward E. Ford Foundation.

For more information and a chance to help realize the rest of the campaign’s vision, visit Front & Center. Be sure to visit the Geipel Center on your next trip to campus.

If you would like to read more about MAME, the Geipel Center, and some of our other campus improvements, visit Town Square Delaware and download this Delaware Today article.

All photos featured in this story are courtesy of Ted Rosenthal/lzmaddy Studios.

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