If you go
What: "You've Got A Friend" Benefit Cabaret
When: 7 p.m. Monday, July 20
Where: The Trust Performing Arts Center, 37 N. Market St., Lancaster
Participating theaters: American Music Theatre, Bird-in-Hand Stage, Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Piercing Word, Servant Stage Company, Sight & Sound Theatres and Theatre of the Seventh Sister.
Cost: Admission is pay-what-you-can donations to Gamut Theatre in Harrisburg. The money will help cover the cost of replacing sound equipment that was recently vandalized.
Reserve tickets: Call 717-208-7385 or visit lancastertrust.com/event/youve-got-a-friend .
When the executive director of Gamut Theatre Group walked into work on June 16 and found about $7,000 in damages to sound equipment, she was devastated.
The day before, someone had ripped the expensive equipment out of a dressing room at the Reservoir Park Band Shell in Harrisburg where the theater group performs "Shakespeare in the Park," smashed it, and threw it outside in the rain.
This was already "salt in the wounds," executive director Melissa Nicholson said. Just a month before the vandalism, Gamut lost its title sponsor for "Shakespeare in the Park," but it was too late to cancel the show.
"We're already taking a hit financially on doing (the show)," she said. "To have our equipment destroyed, it was a mess."
When Amy Barth Meehan, the artistic director of Premiere Danse Academy in Lancaster, saw the news on Facebook, she felt the same way.
"I was really annoyed that people would do something like that," she said. "I was frustrated that people would destroy something people were using to benefit the community."
That frustration fueled Barth Meehan to give back. She immediately called Servant Stage Company executive director Johnathan Bauer, and together they began organizing an event that would bring the Lancaster theater community together to raise money for Gamut Theatre.
Now, a month later, a group of eight Lancaster theaters will present "You've Got A Friend" Benefit Cabaret at 7 p.m. Monday, July 20 at The Trust Performing Arts Center in Lancaster.
This one-night-only event will feature singing performances by actors from American Music Theatre, Bird-in-Hand Stage, Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Fulton Theatre, Piercing Word, Servant Stage Company, Sight & Sound Theatres and Theatre of the Seventh Sister.
"It's really unique," event co-organizer and Johnathan Bauer said. Bauer is also the executive director of Servant Stage Company. "Unique in that it's a small, intimate, informal cabaret event (and) the best performers in the area are all contributing."
Highlights of the evening include performances by Julie Morimoto, who will sing a song from Sight & Sound Theatres' 2016 premiere of "Samson"; Kathryn Williams, who will sing a song from Fulton Theatre's upcoming production of "The Addams Family"; and the cast of Servant Stage Company, who will sing a selection from their current production of "Forever Plaid."
"It's a neat taste of what all the theaters in the area have going on or coming up soon," Bauer said.
While there is no set price for tickets, admission will be a pay-what-you-can donation to Gamut Theatre to help keep performances going.
Nicholson said she was very touched by the outpouring of support from the Lancaster theater community, and she's looking forward to attending the event.
"I totally intend to pay it forward," she said. "I know something's going to happen down the line somewhere and maybe we'll be the ones to step up and do something for somebody."