Live Oak Theatre makes funding goal

Live Oak Theatre members rip “future” off the sign in front of their new location after their capital campaign raised $300,000.

BROOKSVILLE — Live Oak Theatre Company has a new home.

The capital campaign launched earlier this year successfully raised $300,000. And the theater company’s new home on Cortez Boulevard, formerly occupied by Hernando County Utilities, is officially a performing arts theater.

Vince Vanni, Live Oak’s vice president, said the campaign raised the money in just six weeks, indicating the amount of faith Hernando County has in its theatrical gem. Ironically, the idea to purchase the former county utilities building happened after a meeting at the end of their fall performance of Annie.

They opened the capital campaign with $1,300 seed money. “We needed some skin in the game,” said Vanni.

A donation of $100,000 was made by a donor who promised to match whatever the theater company could raise on their own. Within six weeks they had met their goal.

Now, the work begins, Vanni said, as Live Oak Theatre moves in to the building, which promises to open so many opportunities. for the theater.

One exciting event is the 2018 Performing Arts Summer Camp sessions, now incorporating two-week sessions. The first week will focus on Theater basics. The second week applies those basics into auditioning and other aspects of performing.

“We’ve always done two-week sessions,” Vanni said. But because Live Oak has been utilizing Faith Evangelical Presbyterian Church temporarily until they found their new home, scheduling was an obstacle.

Performing Arts Summer Camp is scheduled for the weeks of June 18 and 25. Space is filling fast but Vanni said those interested should still register online. “If their child meets the talent and age group, we will find room.”

That commitment to the future of youth is the driving force behind Live Oak Theatre Company. “We are market driven to what works for our kids,” Vanni explained.

Many community leaders have been groomed at Live Oak as children. Participating in the performing arts has proven a great experience for children who grow into confident adults. “Our kids are incredible communicators.”

And having a stable facility neatly custom-fit for Live Oak Theatre Company is a dream come true. Vanni said the building is perfect for separate classrooms where students can receive the highest quality of theater education from local educators.

A dedicated ballroom will allow Live Oak to bring back its successful fundraising Valentine’s Day Gala Heart Ball.

Live Oak Theatre Company is a not-for-profit group and “exists to enrich families, individuals, and the community as a whole by providing artistic experiences in the performing arts – including excellent, affordable, and edifying family friendly entertainment, performance and educational opportunities for theater patrons and participants of all ages.”

The new season for Live Oak begins in mid-September then scheduled a fall performance in January and a spring performance in late March 2019. With the new facility, Live Oak Theatre will have four performances instead of three. Titles and exact dates will be announced soon.

But the exciting news for Live Oak Theatre Company is wrapped in its future, going forward, after meeting an important milestone. It took a community to embrace its positive impact and make it happen.