The $2.5 million capital campaign will allow for improvements, including a new studio performance space.
Live music by York-band Kingsfoil, performances of theater acts, such as "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare ... Abridged," and magician Timothy Storey will be some of the local talent offered during DreamWrights' upcoming Community Celebration.
The event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. June 30 at DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, 100 Carlisle Ave., in York. It is free and open to the public.
The celebration is part of a kickoff for a three-month capital campaign to raise $2.5 million for improvements to its building — formerly a market house and Bernstein Sewing Factory. The plans include a new studio performance space, a concessions and dining area, and upgraded restrooms. Construction is expected to begin in January.
But what the nonprofit arts organization wants to focus on during the community celebration is educating the public about "who we are and what we want to be," said Hilary Trout, marketing coordinator with DreamWrights.
Many know the organization offers programs and shows for children and families, but it hopes to expand and offer more for young professionals and adults 55 and older in the future, Trout said.
Karin Swartz, president of York Young Professionals, was involved in DreamWrights in her youth. She went on to study theater in college and moved back to York.
While theaters in the area tend to put on traditional shows, Swartz said, she can envision DreamWrights offering new plays that take a classic and put a spin on it.
One example is Shakespeare's "Two Gentlemen of Verona" set to a Beatles soundtrack.
Perhaps a festival of 10-minute plays could be scheduled, she said.
It's something young professionals are looking for, Swartz said.
She will be directing "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare ... Abridged" for the community celebration.
The creation of a new studio performance space will open more opportunities. DreamWrights expects that it will be able to rent space for some acts, Trout said. The board also has changed its policy to allow alcohol in the building.
Mike Stewart, 61, of Mount Wolf, has been involved in the StAGEs. It offers acting classes to people who are 55 and older. They have been working on comedy improvisation.
When he was working full-time, he didn't have the time to do things he wanted to do. Now that he is retired, he has the time to explore the theater arts.
The classes have been fun, educational and good for his confidence, he said.
"I've enjoyed it immensely," Stewart said.
The troupe will be performing for the community celebration.
The event will feature food, entertainment and tours of DreamWrights.
Here is a sampling of what will be offered:
Food: Mad Dash Concessions, Forno Bova Pizza, Savory's Pumpkin Funnel Cakes, York City Pretzel Company, The Beer Ace, The Handsome Cab, and The York Water Company (serving water and lemonade).
Live music: Kingsfoil, Joel Menchey, The Brendan Malloy Quartet, Devix
Theater acts: Short performances from DreamWrights talent, including "Legally Blonde, SEUSSICAL, and "As You Like It"; The Belmont Theatre's "The King and I"; and a showcase from the Weary Arts Group.
Performances: The YWCA Temple Guard Drill Team, First Capital Drumline, the First Capital Fife and Drum Corps, and White Rose Fencing Club
Dance entertainment: Greater York Dance, Crone & Crone Ballroom Dancing, and the York Social Dance Club.
For more information, visit dreamwrights.org.