$125,000 grant funds renovations at Players of Utica

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UTICA — The curtain is being raised on renovations at Players of Utica after a much-anticipated state grant for $125,000 was awarded in the spring. 

The funds are to be used to finish the lobby and complete the black box theatre.

The grant had been in the works for several years, beginning with Players of Utica President Emeritus Vince Scalise and being officially issued in May through the Community Capital Assistance Program through the Dormitory Authority State of New York for the renovation of the theatre. 

The first two projects tackled were the purchase a new LED lighting system for the black box theatre and to hire painters to paint the ceiling of the lobby.

The lighting equipment previously in use in the theatre had been unreliable, and this grant has allowed the Players of Utica to attain new heights with lighting capabilities in shows in the future. 

“After putting on shows with an outdated lighting board and equipment, this grant allows us to properly equip the black box theatre the way it deserves to be and enhance the creativity of our lighting designs and enhance productions in new ways. We’re so excited to put our new lighting system and LED lights to use telling stories on stage,” Players VP of Operations Danielle Fiorentino said.

In order to secure the grant, Players of Utica had to prove that at least $40,000 had been spent to improve the lobby and black box.

Renovations have now begun in earnest and Players President Stephen Wagner is thrilled to have improvements to herald in the 107th season of the community theatre organization. 

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