Letters to the Editor

Performing arts

My recent letter on the need for a center for the performing arts in the Tri-Cities was inadvertantly printed without its last two paragraphs and without indication that the letter comes from the Arts Center Task Force, which I chair.

The letter stated that Eric Hovee, consultant to the Tri-Cities Regional Public Facilities District, said in his report, "The larger theater could be too large for anything other than national touring shows," indicating that local performing arts groups would neither require nor could fill a large theater. This is selling our community short! The Mid-Columbia Ballet's Nutcracker would fill a 2500-seat theater three or four times over each year; 10 recent productions of Richland Light Opera Company (now the Mid-Columbia Musical Theater), had audiences that would fill such a theater 18 times.

The missing paragraphs:

The audience for the recent Mid-Columbia Symphony's performance of Carmina Burana at the Windermere Theater was too large for any other venue in the Tri-Cities. The 300 performers that were involved would certainly not have fit on the stage of a smaller theater.

The Tri-Cities continue to grow and the demand for entertainment and live performance is likely to grow as well. This can't happen without a performing arts center that has the necessary size and capabilities.