Springfield Little Theatre expands into historic school building

Published: Aug. 16, 2019 at 6:55 AM CDT
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The Springfield Little Theatre has a second home at the historic McDaniel School building in Springfield.

With the help of a $1 million grant from the C.W. Titus Foundation and another $250,000 from an angel donor, the Springfield Little Theatre was able to purchase the historic McDaniel School building over the summer. The grants and gifts were all made in part of the organization's "Next Stage Capital Campaign." There is currently $2 million into the campaign. The goal is to have $5 million to complete significant projects.

The projects include work on the organization's Landers Theatre, in addition to the expansion into the historic McDaniel building. The expansion will be known as The Judith Enyeart Reynolds School of the Performing Arts for Springfield Little Theatre.

Along with the name change, Lorianne Dunn with the theatre company said they've already made a lot of changes and improvements to both buildings. Dunn said the organization has already started utilizing the building for additional classes and rehearsal spaces. She said they are grateful and humbled to breathe life back into the historic building.

"We are so excited to see this building have a second life," said Dunn. "To have an exciting theater, kids come through the building and pour into their education. We are very proud to be able to provide the very best possible theatrical education that we can."

Dunn said there is still more that needs to be done through the 'Next Stage Capital Campaign.' The Judith Enyeart Reynolds School of the Performing Arts for Springfield Little Theatre projects include tuck pointing, updated restroom facilities, accessibility and more. The building was built more than 100 years ago in 1908. For 60 years, the McDaniel building was an elementary school for the Springfield Public School District. It was also one of the first schools in Springfield to become integrated back in 1955.

Programs available through The Springfield Little Theatre education department:

- Education Series Productions

- Youth Performance Troupes

- Six-week classes for acting, singing and dancing

- Year-round classes for acting, singing and dancing

- Film Lab

- Studio Theatre Productions

- School Touring Program

- Summer Programs

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