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Dancing Goat Needs Support to Stay Open

Volunteer “casting call” planned to avert Johns Creek theater shutdown.

Performing Arts North is hoping to avert the closing of the Dancing Goat Theatre by holding a “casting call” for volunteers and new board members.

“We took a risk opening when we did,” said Margarita Moldovan, Performing Arts North executive director and artistic director. “All the other theaters were closing at the time. It’s a hard economy for something like this.”

Ticket sales are not funding the theater’s operations. Moldovan said they planned for classes and camps to help pay the bills as well, but those have not made up the difference. It costs $4,500 per month to run the Dancing Goat Theatre and monthly revenues are approximately $2,000. Performing Arts North has been running a deficit for the last six to seven months, with the gap being filled by grants or contributions from her husband, Victor Moldovan. If current trends continue, the theater will be closed in January.

To prevent this outcome, there will be a “casting call” for new board members and volunteers at the Dancing Goat Theatre, which is located at 10700 State Bridge Road in Johns Creek, from 10 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17. Moldovan and other volunteers will present on what the board members will do. If Moldovan can get eight to nine board members who can contribute their own funds and raise more over the course of the year, that would help Performing Arts North a great deal. Other volunteers will join a Volunteers Guild that will run the concession stands and conduct other fundraising activities.

“There are lots of things we could be doing, but with the two of us, it’s never going to happen,” she said. “It takes a village to run a community theater.”

Moldovan said she is optimistic a solution will be found. If people know what they can do to keep the Dancing Goat Theatre open, they’ll do it. She said people were positive about the theater in the past — in an area where most theaters are for children, it’s a rare place that puts on productions of Pulitzer Prize-winning plays like “Proof,” staged in September, or original works like “White Kwanzaa,” which will be part of this year’s Holiday Hootenanny.

“There are opportunities for people here that they wouldn’t get in a lot of other places,” Moldovan said.

For example, Aaron Mencher, 14, wrote the music and designed the sound for “Proof.” Next summer, should the theater remain open, some local college students are slated to direct William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

Moldovan also hopes to hold playwriting and poetry workshops.

“I was a literature major in college,” she said. “To me, there’s nothing more exciting than developing a play from nothing.”

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