Bread Box Theatre finalizes spring series
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Willimantic - posted Wed., Feb. 26, 2014
With the addition of a professional lighting system, the Bread Box Theatre has achieved the professional venue that the organization has been striving for since its founding five years ago. The lighting was paid for partially via a donation from the family of Jim Romanow, a volunteer, sound engineer and musician “and one of the finest people I’ve known,” said Bread Box founder Bruce John.
Over the years, the Bread Box has transformed the sanctuary of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (owned by the Covenant Soup Kitchen) into an intimate, unique theatre. Grants from the Lester & Phyllis Foster Foundation have helped pay for improvements. Last year, the group procured a new stage. More recently, a new curtain was installed. With the addition of the lighting, the transformation is complete. “We have a beautiful theatre, with great acoustics, and the mission is worthy,” said John.
The mission of the Bread Box is “fighting hunger in our local community by providing a folk music venue that is solely dedicated to collecting food and revenue for The Covenant Soup Kitchen and Emergency Food Pantry,” according to the theatre’s website. The Covenant kitchen and pantry will serve an estimated 145,000 meals this year, according to John – up from 134,000 last year and 120,000 the year before.
The Bread Box has just finalized the spring series lineup for 2014. “This may be our most star-studded series,” said John. Among the lineup is the Steve Chapin Band, which is a tribute to Harry Chapin featuring some of the original members of the band. Jon Pousette-Dart is “a national recording artist with big hits in the 70s,” said John. James Montgomery will be appearing with guitarist Bruce Marshall for an evening of acoustic blues. “It’s a rare opportunity to see him in such a small setting and playing acoustically,” said John. For the full spring lineup, and for dates and times, go to http://breadboxfolk.org.
The Bread Box also holds a monthly artist showcase on the third Wednesday of every month (September to May) from 7 to 9 pm. “We have some of the best folk players in the state,” said John. The venue and the Bread Box mission draw great acts, “and we’re starting to have acts contact us,” said John. The goal is to get audiences to come for acts they’re not familiar with. “That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to get people to trust us,” said John.
Now that the theatre’s interior transformation is complete, the Bread Box would like to procure some signage to help identify the venue. Volunteers are always needed to help set up the sanctuary before and after shows. Contact Bruce John at 860-429-4220 to volunteer.
Tickets for the Spring Series can be purchased at the Willimantic Food Co-op at 90 Valley Street in Willimantic. Shows are held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 220 Valley St.