Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre has been entertaining children and their families since 1993, bringing fairy tales, folk tales and fables to new audiences every year. Using creative comedy and improvisation, the Players write original adaptations and breathe new life into unforgettable stories. PHP presents 8 mainstage productions each year at Gamut Classic Theatre, and takes 4 productions “on the road” from rural areas to inner-city venues. Our highly popular New Year’s Eve Party for Children sells out the Whitaker Center each year, and PHP is consistently named “Simply the Best” Children’s Entertainment by the readers of Harrisburg Magazine. Popcorn Hat Players was the only arts group named in the Top Ten Most Innovative Non-Profits in Central Pennsylvania, as determined by the Central PA Business Journal for its ground-breaking Theatre Alive! program in the inner-city schools.
After 20 years of entertaining Central PA, Gamut Theatre Group, the combined theatre company of Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre and Harrisburg Shakespeare Company, announced today that it had purchased the Harrisburg property of 15 North 4th Street, formerly The First Church of God, for the purpose of creating a
After 20 years of entertaining Central PA, Gamut Theatre Group, the combined theatre company of Popcorn Hat Players Children’s Theatre and Harrisburg Shakespeare Company, announced today that it had purchased the Harrisburg property of 15 North 4th Street, formerly The First Church of God, for the purpose of creating a permanent theatre space for the company.
Plans for the new theatre space include a renovation of the 12,000 square-foot church building to create mainstage and children’s theatres, classrooms, offices, a reception lobby, a scene shop, costume shop, dressing rooms, storage and more. Renovation will also include facilities improvements such as installation of an air conditioning system, ADA compliant entrances, and upgrades to electrical and plumbing systems.
“It’s a beautiful building,” says Clark Nicholson, Gamut’s Artistic Director, “and although there will be some cosmetic changes, we are very excited that we will be preserving much of the original architecture, including the lovely stained glass windows. There is a feeling of history here, a love and respect for those things that have come before, that lends itself nicely to the telling of classic stories.”
Purchase of the building, which is located directly across the street from Strawberry Square, which has been Gamut Theatre Group’s home for 20 years, was facilitated by the theatre’s former landlord, South Third Development Corporation, in affiliate of Harristown.
“We have been working cooperatively with Gamut to help them acquire and renovate their new property into a long-term theatre asset,” said Brad Jones, Vice President, Community Development for Harristown Enterprises, Inc. “We are very supportive of this new project and are pleased that Gamut has chosen to remain part of the downtown community.”
Gamut has kicked off a fundraising campaign to raise the $1.6 million needed to complete the property’s renovations, which are projected to be completed by Fall 2014. The company will continue to produce at his current location on the 3rd floor of Strawberry Square through it 2013-14 Season.
For more information about the project or how to donate to Gamut Theatre Group, contact Melissa Nicholson, Executive Director, at 717-238-4111.