Curtain rises on Summer Lyric Theatre fundraising

May 1, 2013 11:00 AM

Mary Sparacello
msparace@tulane.edu

Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University has entertained audiences for 45 years. Now, loyal leaders of the theater community are working to ensure the shows will go on and on.

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La Cage aux Folles

La Cage aux Folles will be the first musical theater performance this season staged by Summer Lyric Theatre in June in Dixon Hall. (Photo by Michael Palumbo)


“We want to guarantee professional, high-quality theater for those who come after us,” says Barbara Workman, patron and parent of a current Tulane student, who is driving the effort to continue building the endowment for Summer Lyric Theatre and delivering high-quality performances audiences have come to expect.

“People are thinking beyond right now or even five years from now,” says Workman. She and her husband, Mark Workman, have chaired the Summer Lyric Theatre Steering Committee for a decade, and now are rallying supporters for the future of Summer Lyric Theatre.

Last year, the Workmans established a fund in honor of artistic director B. Michael Howard, and several other donors have followed suit.

“Giving to an endowment that lives on forever is a way to show your love for Summer Lyric,” says operations manager Charlie Farve Hayes.

Currently, Summer Lyric relies on ticket sales and small donations to pay for four performances of three musical theater shows every summer. As costs rise — on everything from fabric to union wages — theater patrons are resolved to keep ticket prices affordable and the viewing experience unique.

Each Summer Lyric musical features a full professional orchestra. “You don’t even see that on Broadway,” says Hayes.

The full orchestra will perform again this summer for the 46th season of top-quality shows: fan favorite La Cage aux Folles in June, A Little Night Music in July and Kiss Me Kate in August.

Mary Sparacello is a writer in the Office of Development.

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