Joan Buhler

The purchase of Red's Twin Cinemas is out of escrow and back on the market. It has been a learning experience for us (Lighthouse Repertory Theatre). Urgency to bid on Red's precluded time to organize ourselves with a feasability study, capitol campaign or some board development. We were overflowing with eagerness and enthusiastic energy. The dream of having our own theater overwhelmed us.

We still hold much appreciation for the Thomas family for their patience.Escrow opened in April with a down payment deadline of June 30. That deadline was extended to July 31 and eventually to August 31. While we wish them good luck with the sale, we still have a glimmer of hope as we continue to raise money and get into abetter financial position.

The LRT board is dedicated to working toward a performing arts centerbe it Red's or building from the ground up. But we do need the ground: two or three acres on a main road within a couple of miles to town. Doesn't some landowner need a tax write-off?

Our financial status is better than it has been, in my memory. When earnest money is returned from the title company, our total assets will be $77,881.81. All donation and grant money is deposited in our performing arts building fund with the Wild Rivers Foundation. Excess money from various fundraisersis also deposited in the Endowment Fund. Those funds are not used for anything but the building.

Although the deal fell through with Red's Twin Cinema, LRT has not lost its dream for a theater of its own. We are disappointed, yes, but we still have faith that it will happen. For those of you who have donated to our building fund, I hope you don't lose faith in us.We have an accurate data base of all contributors and donation amounts.We will refund any private donation money upon receipt if a written request is mailed to: Lighthouse Repertory Theatre, P.O. Box 171, Crescent City, CA 95531. This request must be mailed by Oct. 15.

Our fundraising efforts and programs are still in overdrive. For the first time in many years, LRT has their next year's season planned. In April 2008, we will perform andquot;The Wizard of Oz.andquot; In May, a gala celebration will be held in honor of LRT's 30 years of continuous shows, and in November 2008, we will replay LRT's first production, andquot;Barefoot in the Park.andquot; There are definite plans to sandwich in at least two more events in 2008.

Let's not miss the rest of 2007, though. Auditions for andquot;Arsenic and Old Laceandquot; will finish up at Crescent Elk Auditorium today at 7 p.m., with call-back invitations set for Thursday. Play dates are Nov. 9, 10 and 11, and Nov. 16, 17 and 18.

For those of you who enjoyed the Masquerade Ball in June, a similar dance is in the planning stages for this fall. Stay tuned.

LRT may be homeless, but we are alive and well. The curtain just came up on the second act. The show must go on.

Joan Buhler is the president of the Lighthouse Repertory Theatre.