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Murray's Playhouse in the Park Celebrates 45th Year with Open House

Murray's Playhouse in the Park hosts an open house at the new Arcadia Annex on Tuesday, April 12th.
Playhouse in the Park/Trish Boyd
Murray's Playhouse in the Park hosts an open house at the new Arcadia Annex on Tuesday, April 12th.

Murray's Playhouse in the Park is expanding its campus with a new annex at 907 Arcadia Circle. The Playhouse hosts an open house for the public to come view the new space and celebrate the Playhouse's 45th anniversary. Tracy Ross speaks to executive director Lisa Cope and PiP board member Catie Bates-Robertson about the upcoming event.

Playhouse in the Park was incorporated in 1977. Cope says that the Playhouse's ability to stay running and add new spaces to its campus speaks to the amazing support from the Murray community. "It feels new to us, even though we bought it in 2019," she says. "It felt like we didn't do anything for a long time. So, it's like a brand new building again. That's why we thought now is a good time to celebrate [the annex], celebrate the 45th anniversary of the theatre, and get folks in to see the building."

"Certainly being a long-established community theater, we've acquired lots of costumes and set pieces," Bates-Roberston says. "If you've been to Playhouse in the Park, you know there is limited storage in the old train depot. So, this is a welcome space that will provide us with so many more opportunities. Not only does it store our costume collection that was graciously moved around the community for several years. But the costumers have their own spaces to work in."

"We do rehearsals there; we have classroom space," Cope adds. Bates-Robertson continues, "you can meet in one room and have rehearsal in another. Lisa has also moved the main office there, which gives her more space. We moved in immediately. We had no problem filling it and using it."

The annex open house takes place on Tuesday, April 12th, from 3 to 6 pm. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3:30, light refreshments, and entertainment. "Everyone is invited," Bates-Robertson says. "This is an open open house."

"It's a birthday party for Playhouse," Cope laughs. Bates-Robertson adds, "we'll show you our space. We'll be offering some opportunities for free tickets for shows. We'll give tours of the space. If you're curious about what the building looks like inside, this is a good opportunity to see what we've got and how it's serving us."

"Being dormant for a couple of years, it's hard not to get excited," Bates-Robertson continues. She says the Playhouse doesn't want to take for granted "how much joy the theatre brought us and how much community it provides. Whether you're participating in the event or looking forward to an event, we all missed being a part of it."

For more information on Murray's Playhouse in the Park or its upcoming open house, visit the Playhouse in the Park website or Facebook page.

Tracy started working for WKMS in 1994 while attending Murray State University. After receiving his Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU he was hired as Operations/Web/Sports Director in 2000. Tracy hosted All Things Considered from 2004-2012 and has served as host/producer of several music shows including Cafe Jazz, and Jazz Horizons. In 2001, Tracy revived Beyond The Edge, a legacy alternative music program that had been on hiatus for several years. Tracy was named Program Director in 2011 and created the midday music and conversation program Sounds Good in 2012 which he hosts Monday-Thursday. Tracy lives in Murray with his wife, son and daughter.
Melanie Davis-McAfee graduated from Murray State University in 2018 with a BA in Music Business. She has been working for WKMS as a Music and Operations Assistant since 2017. Melanie hosts the late-night alternative show Alien Lanes, Fridays at 11 pm with co-host Tim Peyton. She also produces Rick Nance's Kitchen Sink and Datebook and writes Sounds Good stories for the web.
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