WARSAW — Warsaw Community School Corporation has big plans for the future. During the monthly board work session, held Tuesday, Oct. 13, the board was met by Robert Bucher, the newly appointed Performing Arts Center director, to discuss the transformational process of turning the building into a public venue for entertainment and enjoyment.
Bucher, a graduate of Manchester University in 2007, recently came onboard with WCS. He has a long running love of the arts and entertainment world with experience on and off the stage. According to Bucher, he has directed choirs, acted and produced musicals and even performed in a barbershop quartet. Bucher also noted he has experience with the Manchester Symphony Orchestra. He moved to the area from Huntington in June with his wife.
Bucher’s presentation came with an explanation on funding for the PAC, noting in 2011-2013, between 300-400 visitors attended performances at the facility. The 2013 PAC fund was $38,000.
According to Bucher, when he took over the position as director, the 2015 fund had $8,509.34. Though funding is running on the lower side for the center, Bucher noted he is working on grants and partnerships to help bolster the cash available for repairs, shows, production cost and more.
Improvements have included minor structural changes such as the painting of the PAC floor and area hallways, safety lines placed around electrical panels. Bucher noted he is investigating the possibility of conversion lights in the PAC to LED, which would be more cost effective in the long run for the center.
As the PAC moves forward to celebrate their 10th anniversary, Bucher hopes to plan an exciting year in entertainment for the community and beyond. As he develops programming he is also working to create a brand that will resonate with guests. Much like The Honeywell Center or Wagon Wheel Theater, Bucher hopes the PAC will become a location area residents think of when thinking about quality entertainment.
Slated so far for the 2015-2016 year are shows that are targeted at a variety of ages. For those looking for a slice of musical entertainment, Bucher noted the Navy Commodore Jazz Band will soon be attending the corporation, drawing guests from outside the state already with pre-ticket sales. The performance will take place on Nov. 8.
For those looking for a night of suspense, Sleuth’s Dinner Mystery Theater will be coming to the PAC from Orlando and will be catered by The Cake Lady. The dinner, which will be a spotlight event for the center, will be held on Feb. 27.
A performance of Julius Caesar, paid for by grant dollars, will bring quality actors from the National Players to the area to provide a look into the mind of Shakespeare for middle school students. A community performance of a Tale of Two Cities is slated for March 24.
A children’s show titled “Hilbilly Silly Science Spectacular” will be performed for children in elementary schools in the district as well.
Though some may worry about competition between the PAC and Wagon Wheel for guests, Bucher noted he does not.
“The Wagon Wheel is very excited to have us on board,” explained Bucher to the board. In an effort to ensure both arts centers will have a great turn out, Bucher noted performances are planned in a way that will not infringe on what the Wagon Wheel is attempting to do for its patrons.
For more information, contact Bucher at the PAC (574) 371-5098.