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The Bend Magazine

The Show Must Go On

09/03/2020 07:02PM ● By Jessie Chrobocinski
By:  Jessie Chrobocinski  Photo via: Aurora Arts Theatre 

When you attend an Aurora Art's Theatre production, the magical connection to what transpires on stage manages to remove us from our day and carry us to the time and place of our favorite musicals and plays.

This year marks Aurora Arts Theatre's 10th anniversary, a distinguishable achievement that was to bring a season filled with our favorite productions and actors and community celebrations that make this theatre one-of-a-kind. Unfortunately, the rise of COVID-19 has impressed restrictions for venues, such as the Aurora Arts Theatre, resulting in a vital financial crisis that could mean the theatre's permanent closing.

However, Aurora Arts Theatre continues battling the challenging circumstances with events such as cinema nights, t-shirt sales, and curbside popcorn. While these attractions have produced some revenue, the amount has not been sufficient to cover each month's mounting expenses.

"The Aurora has been fortunate to be a part of such a great community for the past ten years," says Executive Director & Theatre Owner Mary Chapa. "When we produce a play or a musical, we instantly become a part of something much bigger than the production itself. We renew and create friendships, share ideas, comfort those in need, and share a burst of laughter that makes our day."

In 2010, Eddie Chapa realized his dream of establishing a theatre in Corpus Christi. Sadly his passing in 2011 allowed him to witness the theatre's success for just a year. Mary shares that while Eddie's passing was a devastating day for everyone, she found comfort in knowing the happiness that the theatre brought to his life. 

"While I felt the overwhelming love of Eddie's family and my own, I soon realized I had yet another family I could turn to — my theatre family," Mary continues. "They rallied around me, and the theatre soon became my refuge. The tremendous encouragement and support I received from the community, I realized that the theatre had been not only my refuge, but also the refuge for many who also found solace, cheer, and a sense of belonging at the Aurora."

Aurora Arts Theatre recently started a GoFundMe campaign to raise $50,000 that will go towards keeping doors open. In the first few days of the campaign's launch, the community had contributed over $11,000 to help keep this important local fixture alive. Humbled by those who have already contributed, Aurora Arts Theatre seeks support from family, friends, and the community to survive this challenging time.

"The theatre has a unique way of providing a safe space for all and helping those who enter feel right at home ... Whether it be watching or participating in a play, volunteering, or simply having conversations across the concession counter with our great volunteers, the Aurora certainly satisfies a need," Chapa says passionately. 

To help save the theatre, visit www.gofundme.com/f/saveourtheatreaat. If you are not in a position to give, you can share the link with your followers and friends!  

"Please know that any contribution is greatly appreciated and will be used to help keep our doors open," Chapa concludes, "and as we look forward to the day when we can once again call "places" and experience the wonder of live theatre."