HAWLEY- Never mind the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood with the star's names (and hand and foot prints) immortalized in the pavement. You have your chance to place your name or that of a loved one right in the new brick paving coming to a theater near you- the Ritz Company Playhouse in Hawley.
HAWLEY-Never mind the historic Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood with the star's names (and hand and foot prints) immortalized in the pavement. You have your chance to place your name or that of a loved one right in the new brick paving coming to a theater near you- the Ritz Company Playhouse in Hawley.
Announced last year, the paving project began Sunday, June 1, said Sandy Gabrielson, Ritz board member. Over 100 bricks have already been sold, with plenty more space left.
Hawley United Methodist Church volunteers gathered that day with jack hammers and picks to take up the old asphalt. As part of the second annual "Church Has Left the Building" program, the church (along with members of St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran and Wallenpaupack Free Methodist churches this year) sends teams to do various community service projects. Last year they painted the Ritz's storage shed.
With the old paving out of the way, Lintner Masonry is expected to be doing the work, laying blue stone pavers in the form of a cross or plus shape in front of the theater. The bricks will be placed in the four quadrants,with enough room for 400 sponsored bricks. Pavers will be used to fill where bricks haven't yet been purchased.
There are two size bricks available, 4" x 8" with space for three lines, costing $50, or 8" x 8" with room for up to six lines, for $100. No logos are accepted.
Most people have chosen to have bricks engraved in memory of or in honor of someone. Various actors who appeared at the Ritz have sponsored bricks with names of the play and dates where they partcipated. The Ritz also bought bricks for the perimiter engraved with the titles of the many musicals and their dates, they hosted through the years.
Proceeds from the brick sales will help pay for the roof that was replaced a couple years ago, which cost approximately $20,000. They also hope to be able to fund replacement of the interior carpeting.
Bricks may be ordered online at polarengraving.com, or in person at Murphy Insurance Company, next door to the theater. Payment is made at Murphy Insurance; checks should be made out to Ritz Company Playhouse, with "Brick Fund" in the memo line.
Applications are avalable a Murphy Insurance and will be at the box office during the plays.
Gabrielson said that it takes about 10 days for the order to be filled. Bricks will be laid as they come in. If there is enough interest and they exceed 400, he said they can replace the blue stone sections.
Doug Burt, a Ritz volunteer and professional mason, will be supervising the installation.
••• 42nd season
This is the 42nd season for Ritz Company Playhouse. The non-profit drama group was founded in 1973 by Peg Murphy and Edward Buckmaster, in the former Ritz movie theater, 512 Keystone Street.
Gabrielson said they are very appreciative of the community support through the years and hopeful the Ritz is making a positive impact on the community.
When they started, some thought if they made it five or six years they would say it was fun and that would be it, but here they are in their 42nd season, Gabrieson reflected. He said that if the public goes away entertained and the actors enjoyed it as well, then they can count the Ritz as a success.
They remain completely volunteer, relying on public interest and support.
The line-up for 2014 is as follows:
• Noises Off, a comedy by Michael Frayn. July 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 at 8 p.m.; July 20 at 2:30 p.m.
• Disney's High School Musical Jr., presented by the Ritz Bitz Players (Ritz Theatre Junior Actors). Book by David Simpatico. Based on Disney Channel original movie by Peter Barsocchini.
July 25, 26, 27, August 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m.; August 3 at 2:30 p.m.
• Merrily We Dance and Sing (or "The Naughty Boy"), a musical comedy. Book and lyrics by Billy Van Zandt and Jane Millmore. Music by Billy Van Zandt, Jane Millmore and Ed Alton. August 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23 at 8 p.m.; August 24 at 2:30 p.m.
• Til Beth Do Us Part, a martial confection by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, Janie Wooten. August 29, 30, September 5, 6 at 8 p.m.; August 31 at 2:30 p.m.
• First Things First, a comedy by Derek Benefield. The opening weekend only features the original Off Broadway. Sept, 12, 13, 19, 20 at 8 p.m.; September 21 at 2:30 p.m.
For more information about Ritz Company Playhouse, call 570-226-9752 or visit online at www.ritzplayhouse.com.