Workers install a fan in the cupola of the Boal Barn to draw hot air out of the building on warm evenings. New LED stage lights will also produce less heat than the old system did.
When the Boal Barn Playhouse shut its doors in 2013, many feared the demise of another local theater, much like the Garman Theater in Bellefonte which was recently demolished.
The outgoing theater company, the State College Community Theater (SCCT), left in 2013 to find a year-round venue, taking with them their lights and sound system and leaving behind a request to the Centre Regions Code Agency to inspect the 100-year-old barn for compliance with regional codes, something never before done in the Barn’s 54-year history as a playhouse.
Now a new theater company dedicated to the site -- in fact named the “Boal Barn Players” -- has arisen with plans to install new sound and lighting systems and return the Boal Barn Playhouse to its former glory as the model of summer theater in the region.
Meanwhile, the Boal Museum has engaged a contractor to accomplish compliance with the requirements of the Code Agency inspection in order to have a Certificate of Occupancy as a Venue of Public Assembly – a first for the site.
While saving the Garman Theater was said to require five million dollars, saving the Boal Barn Playhouse appears to require only $125,000 and plans are underway to solicit support from the community to see the project through and re-open the Boal Barn as a summer theater.
A hopeful first step has been taken by the Boalsburg Village Conservancy, which has offered to match up to $5,000 in individual donations to the cause. Tax-deductible contributions may be made to “Boal Barn Playhouse” care of the Boalsburg Village Conservancy, PO Box 451, Boalsburg PA 16827.