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(St. Louis / July 19, 2012) Avalon
Theatre Company has made a major donation to Grand Center Arts Academy (GCAA), outfitting
the school with professional-grade materials and paving the way for possible future
Since vacating its theater space in
Crestwood Court in February due to ArtSpace’s redevelopment plans, Avalon’s
cofounders Larry Mabrey and Erin Kelley sought out the right community recipient
to house its equipment, including props, building materials, costumes,
lighting, theater seats, risers, furniture and costumes.
Mabrey connected with Dan Rubright,
GCAA's director of arts and community partnerships, and
learned that GCAA would welcome the resources to convert its theatre and acting
classroom into a "blackbox" type space. After meeting with Rubright
and GCAA Principal Lynne Glickert, Mabrey and Kelley decided to donate all of
Avalon’s materials to the school’s theater program. The donation effectively equips
the arts school with professional-grade theater equipment and a newly found
ally in GCAA’s growing roster of professional community partners.
“The serendipitous and timely nature
of this gift for both parties is a beautiful thing,” said Rubright. “This gives
Larry and Erin, both highly talented actors, the space to determine how they
want to move forward professionally, and I look forward to possible ways in
which we might collaborate that would be beneficial to them and our theater
“We have been fortunate to see a great
deal of support from the community in our first two years,” said Lynne
Glickert, principal of GCAA. “Making this connection with Avalon is a perfect
example of what makes our school tick and what helps differentiate us as an
“We have been
fortunate to see a great deal of support from the community in our first two
years,” said Lynne Glickert, principal of GCAA. “Making this connection with
Avalon is a perfect example of what makes our school tick and what helps differentiate
us as an arts school.”
Throughout its seven seasons, Avalon Theatre Company earned a reputation as one of St. Louis' most respected professional theatre companies with high artistic quality. Through Avalon's donation, Mabrey and Kelley bring their years of professional theatrical experience and resources to enhance GCAA's theatrical learning and performing environment, demonstrating the company's commitment to developing future theatrical artists.
While this new environment benefits Avalon by providing a potential venue for future special engagements, Mabrey and Kelley say the primary goal is to establish a professionally equipped theatre space for the GCAA students much sooner than the school thought possible.
"I am truly blown away by the generosity Avalon has shown GCAA," said Emily Kohring, theater teacher at GCAA. "I predict it would have taken us nearly a decade to accumulate all the props, scenery, costumes, platforms, furniture and other items they have so generously gifted to us. Our students are going to benefit for years to come, both in theater classes and future productions."
Rubright said he, Mabrey and Kelley
are determining what a partnership might look like in the years to come, but
for immediate future, the GCAA community is grateful and energized by the
Sponsored by Saint Louis University, GCAA is a St. Louis public charter middle
and soon-to-be high school located in the heart of St. Louis' vibrant cultural
district, Grand Center, directly across from Powell Hall and the Grandel
Theatre. The mission of GCAA is to serve students with a meaningful, well-rounded
educational experience that includes a strong emphasis on the visual and
performing arts and a deep commitment to academic excellence. GCAA strongly
believes in community engagement, multi-cultural understanding, service and
good citizenship. Students who are highly creative and already
pursuing their artistic dreams will find a home at GCAA.
GCAA is now enrolling students for grades 6 through 9 for the
2012/2013 school year on a first-come, first-served basis. Students eligible to
attend must be residents of the city of St. Louis or residents of St. Louis
County and eligible to attend St. Louis Public Schools under the voluntary
transfer program. All applicants will meet with Principal Lynne Glickert as
part of the acceptance process and will be expected to give a brief
demonstration of artistic aptitude.
www.grandcenterartsacademy.org, or call 314-533-1791for applications and more
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AVALON THEATRE COMPANY GIFTS PROFESSIONAL THEATER EQUIPMENT TO GRAND CENTER ARTS ACADEMY
Avalon's donation paves the way for possible future collaborations with the visual & performing arts charter school