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Performing group hopes to buy a building

By LEANA CHOATE - lchoate@newsexaminer.com

Jokes, sketches and music will light up the John Roberts Memorial Building next Friday and Saturday as Imagine Performing Arts puts on its 6th annual Hullabaloo Variety Show. 

The group is trying to raise enough money to buy a building of its own that would give it a place to perform and to store equipment between shows.

Imagine Performing Arts is a local organization promoting various forms of live performance. Its members wrote all of the show, said Cindy Perez, dirrector. Each year, every joke and sketch is new and original.

As in the past, this year’s show features the fictional character Barkley Bigelow, played by Daniel Phelps, but introduces a new character to the sketches, Harry Hightop, played by Ian Kinder. 

“A variety show can be thought of as something like Saturday Night Live – comedy sketches and music arts. It will be light hearted,” Perez said.

The Richmond Jazz Orchestra will perform during the show.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Profits will go towards paying the Richmond Jazz Orchestra and to help the Imagine Performing Arts purchase a building in downtown Connersville.

“We don’t have a permanent building,” Perez said. “We do shows and practices out of the Roberts Building in the park, and it makes it hard for people to find us when they want to come to a show. We’ve had people tell us (Imagine Performing Arts) that ‘we were going to come to the show but we couldn’t find the building.’”

Perez said that having a permanent building with an address will help establish a home for the Imagine Performing Arts.

The building the Imagine Performing Arts is interested in purchasing for their home is located at 217 W. 6th Street. The building is on the market for $79,900. 

“We’re trying to get the money together for this,” said Perez. “If we get it, there will be a real live theater here in Connersville. We will have a home.”

In a letter sent out to friends of the Imagine Performing Arts, the association explains that their open mic nights have moved from Brian’s Bistro to the Whitewater Valley Arts Association, but they have outgrown that space, too.

Set pieces, lights, sound equipment, props and other materials belonging to Imagine Performing Arts are “scattered near and far” the letter said, because they have no one place to store their equipment. 

Imagine Performing Arts hopes to eliminate these problems with the purchase of a building.

“We are looking for some angels,” the letter read, “people and organizations who could help us to acquire this location and renovate it as we grow there. This could work in different ways. It could be gifts or grants. It could be someone interested in buying the building and donating it to IPA for the good of the community. It could be someone interested in purchasing the building and selling it back to IPA with generous terms, such as an interest-only loan, due at the time of a refinance in the future. You or your organization may have other ideas or opportunities of which we are unaware.”

The Hullabaloo kicks off 7 p.m. Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, in the Roberts Building in Roberts Park, 2900 Park Road. Tickets can purchased at the door, which opens at 6:30 p.m.

For more information about Imagine Performing Arts, contact Perez at 765-265-0435.