PECATONICA, Ill. (WTVO) — A storm damaged the Pec Playhouse beyond repair earlier this year, and the building has since been torn down.
With the rebuild underway, the show must go on, but performers will take the stage at another community venue in the meantime. The theatre has rented out a nearby space, as they get back to performing in hopes of raising money for the rebuild.
“We started rehearsals for this show, actually, the day the old building was torn down,” said Austin Van Vleck, a performer with Pec Playhouse Theatre. “So that was bittersweet, but it was great to get back into some theater, because we’ve definitely been missing it.”
Performers with the Pec Playhouse Theatre are preparing for their first production following the demolition of their long-time venue. Without a place to call home for the time being, the show, “Escanaba In Da Moonlight,” will be put on at a community center in Seward.
“This show in particular is one of the most popular shows voted by our patrons,” said performer Jamie Button. “They wanted to see it again, and we were supposed to put it on last year but then we had COVID-19, and then our collapsed. So now, we’re happy to put it back on again.”
Ticket sales will help to raise money, as the theater aims to rebuild in Pecatonica.
“I think everything we do from now on is going to be towards our rebuild as a hometown theater again,” said performer Glen Wiegert.
“And I’m hoping it’s going to be bigger and better than ever,” added Button.
“We’re kind of thinking about it a little bit. Of course we want to get as many people to come as we can to raise some money, but also we just want to put on a great show, make people laugh, entertain the community too,” Van Vleck said.
The actors said that it has been a bit of an adjustment to not be on their hometown stage, but regardless of where they perform, they said that they are happy to be back doing what they love.
“I think they’re going to see at least as good a show as they saw over at the playhouse,” Wiegert said. “It’s been a little different technology-wise and setup-wise, but that’s part of the gig here, I guess.”
The first performance is Friday at 8 p.m. and it will run through November 21.