As The Muny’s centennial season draws to a close, St. Louis’ landmark theater is embarking on a $100 million Second Century Capital Campaign to renovate its facilities and ensure its future for many years to come.
Approximately $50 million will support brick-and-mortar updates, including a full stage rebuild, along with renovation of the dressing rooms, rehearsal platforms, backstage workspaces and more among its 11.5-acre campus, according to Kwofe Coleman, director of marketing & communications for The Muny.
In the past two decades, the theater has made significant investments — about $20 million collectively — in audience amenities, like new seats, restrooms, concessions and fans. Meanwhile, the infrastructure has slowly been deteriorating.
“We do regular maintenance to ensure safety, but truth be told, we can’t even use the latest in stage technology,” Coleman explains. “We want to use moving lights and tracking on stage — commonplace in most other theaters — that we haven’t been able to employ here. There’s decaying brick, metal holding up brick walls, the dressing rooms haven’t been touched in decades; it’s not up to par with who we are locally and nationally.”
The updated stage, light bridge and supporting towers will be complete for the 2019 season. By the beginning of the 2020 season, a fresh canopy of trees will envelop the stage, reminiscent of the original Muny stage 100 years ago.
The remaining $50 million goes into theater’s endowment fund, securing longevity of the future of the institution.
“A large part of our centennial is looking back and celebrating, but you also have to look forward to ensure success in the long term,” Coleman says. “This is a call to those folks who have made The Muny a part of their summer traditions for generations. We can all make an investment in the future to ensure future generations can experience what we’ve enjoyed the last century.”
The campaign began in its “quiet phase” in July 2017 and has already garnered many donations.
“We’ve made significant progress to the point we felt comfortable entering the public phase less than a year into the campaign, but there’s still a long way to go,” Coleman says. “The campaign is a far-reaching way to invest because it supports facility maintenance, keeps ticket averages low and expands education and community access programs. It’s insurance for the future.”
Anyone who donates $100 or more is eligible to receive a commemorative Muny pin. For more information and to donate, visit munysecondcentury.org.