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Community comes through for Randall Theatre

Randall Theatre Executive Director John Wing describes the nonprofit’s acute need for investment Tuesday outside its Ghostlight Playhouse in downtown Medford. The nonprofit averted losing its lease Friday after raising more than $5,000 in four days. [Mail Tribune/Andy Atkinson]
More than $5,000 raised in time for nonprofit’s rent deadline

A Medford theater nonprofit is out of its four-figure danger zone.

In the span of four days, Randall Theatre raised $5,000 it needed to pay back rent and keep the Ghostlight Playhouse open in downtown Medford, according to John Wing, Randall’s executive director.

“I’m still wrapping my own mind around it,” Wing said. “It was such an incredible response.”

Since announcing earlier this week that the theater, in the historic Goldy Building at 115 E. Main St., was on the brink of eviction, the nonprofit received 19 donations worth $1,845 on its GoFundMe crowdfunding page, plus another half-dozen donations through check and PayPal that took the nonprofit over the $5,000 mark in time for the Friday rent deadline.

Wing said he's blown away by some of the private donations. He declined to give a number for the check donations because they’re still tabulating the numbers, waiting for more checks to arrive in the mail and are verifying which donors should be publicly thanked or kept anonymous.

“These private donations — I’m astounded,” Wing said Friday. “Overwhelmed is the only word, by the kindness.”

Everything above $5,000 will be used to pay installments for a larger rent bill. Wing said Tuesday that the nonprofit’s landlord had allowed them to pay the remainder of a $10,000 rent bill in installments if they came up with half of it by Jan. 14.

If they hadn’t met that goal, Wing said, the only path forward would have been to dissolve the nonprofit.

Wing had to prepare for both outcomes this week. He fielded calls for potential buyers of the nonprofit’s assets while also making last-ditch calls for donations.

“You kind of had to be hopeful and hopeless at the same time,” Wing said.

With the immediate crisis averted, Randall is looking forward to performances later this month, including comedy performances Jan. 20 and 27, and the debut of their production of “Clue: The Musical,” starting Feb. 11.

Randall is also planning a stream-a-thon fundraiser promoting Ghostlight Playhouse’s $10 a month “Best Seat Club” livestream service. For more information about the service, see ghostlightplayhouse.com/best-seat-club/.

Wing wants to fill out the theater’s schedule further. Local bands and performers interested in performing there are encouraged to email him at johnwing@ghostlightplayhouse.com.

“The calendar’s filling up, and we want to fill it up all the way,” Wing said. “Our goal is to have entertainment there seven days a week.”

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTwebeditor.