FAYETTEVILLE >> Totem Pole Playhouse will allow guests to "pay what you can" for a performance of the summer theater's current musical production, "Shenandoah," at 8 p.m. Saturday.
"Last season we offered two special 'pay what you can' performances over the Fourth of July weekend, which was a great success." said Totem Pole's Producing Artistic Director Rowan Joseph. "Due to the high volume of ticket sales we are only able to make this same offer for the evening performance this year. We hope folks on a limited budget will be able to join us for the fireworks on-stage that evening."
"Shenandoah," starring Tony Award honoree Ben Davis has proven to be one of the best received productions in the Totem Pole's 65 year history.
Totem Pole, located in Caledonia State Park, has traditionally had trouble filling seats each summer over the Fourth of July holiday. While many performances this year are selling out or playing to near-capacity, Joseph said the playhouse has many good seats still available for this Saturday evening.
"The first two performances of every show this season are specially priced previews with all seats sold at $20 general admission," said Sue McMurtray, Totem Pole's general manager. "So between those two performances and our 'pay what you can' offering Saturday night ,there is ample opportunity for everyone to see a show this summer at the playhouse."
Joseph explained that many professional theaters around the country present "pay what you can" performances each season as a way to offer patrons on a fixed income who can't afford to pay full price an opportunity to see live theater.
"The low cost previews and the 'pay what you can' performance are a perfect fit with the Totem Pole's philosophy of giving back to the community," said Dana Witt, president of Totem Pole's Board of Directors. "I think it is also a nice alternative to sitting outside and watching loud fireworks."
Individuals who can afford to pay full price are still encouraged to do so, and can purchase their tickets and reserve seats ahead of time. Any unsold seats will be offered beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday for whatever price patrons are able to pay. Tickets will be offered on a first come, first serve basis.
"Shenandoah" is co-sponsored by Dr. Paul D. Orange Family Medicine. Franklin County Visitors' Bureau is the season sponsor.
Totem Pole will also present a special Children's Theatre performance of "The Tortoise and Hare Race Again," for free at 10 a.m. every Saturday morning in July. The show is open to all ages and is sponsored by Adams Electric Cooperative, Inc.