hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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August 21, 2013

Fee cut saves theater performances

City Hall auditorium made affordable for community groups

(Continued)

DeNaro was willing to scale back the safety detail provisions only after the city repaired lighted exit signs in the auditorium, the mayor said.

The city’s efforts to improve the facility and reduce the cost of renting it drew rave reviews from Scott Helmers, president of the theater company, which plans five performances of “Lend Me a Tenor” for the City Hall auditorium.

“We are very pleased with all the help the city gave us to make this work,” Helmers said. “We received excellent cooperation from the mayor’s office, Chief DeNaro and of course the City Council, which was heavily on our side from the beginning.”

Fiorentini said an Andover children’s theater group rented the auditorium last week and that he is hopeful more community groups will use it in the future.

“It’s a great resource and I’m glad it’s being used,” the mayor said.

Spotlight Playhouse, which formed in 2007 and has performed at various Haverhill churches and at the high school, needs the City Hall auditorium because the churches it has used don’t have stages that are large enough to accommodate its October production and the high school is unavailable at that time.

The set for “Lend Me A Tenor” consists of two adjoining hotel rooms with multiple doors that actors and actresses are constantly using, Helmers said.

City Hall auditorium fee cut in half

:Original cost: $5,500

Reduced fee: $2,500

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