Fort Mill Times

Christian theater begins fund drive

NarroWay Productions hopes March will be a month for miracles.

Two years ago, the Christian theater company took out a $535,000, 15-year mortgage to build a new theater complex on Hwy. 21. Last March it set a fundraising goal for the month of $35,000 to help pay off the loan's principal. Enough money poured in to surpass the goal by about $5,000, according to NarroWay spokeswoman Ericka Ross. This March, the theater's goal is $50,000.

"March is our miracle month," Ross said.

NarroWay is currently making $5,110 in monthly payments on the mortgage, and intends to use money raised in March to pay off a portion of the principal owed on the loan, thereby reducing its debt and possibly its payments over the long term, Ross said. Any additional money raised above the $50,000 goal will go towards several other projects going on at the theater.

"We need to replace our sound system," Ross said. "Our microphones will be obsolete in 2009 because the 911 system will be taking over the frequency."

In addition to a new sound system, the theater also wants to build a green room for its all-volunteer cast. Cast members now wait outside in the open air when they aren't on stage, Ross said. The theater would also like to hire a full-time set manager, which would add to a slowly growing staff that now has eight members.

And, NarroWay recently obtained permission to install a LED sign on its property to advertise ongoing and upcoming shows. Ross said the theater would also display Amber Alerts on the sign when one is issued. It also hopes to be able to open access to the property from Hwy. 21. Currently, the only entrance is on Hwy. 51.

"2007 was our biggest year to date," Ross said. "We're hoping 2008 will surpass it."

NarroWay began performing shows in Fort Mill in 1996 at King's Arena, the old Heritage USA amphitheater, in Regent Park. But the theater company decided to look for a new home in 2005, when the property was sold to Coulston Enterprises. It offset some of the costs of the move at the time through fundraisers such as selling theater seats to patrons.

More information about upcoming productions at the theater can be found on NarroWay's Web site, www.narroway.net.

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