Pullman Civic Theatre reaches out to community

Organization seeks to provide arts to Palouse, provide a safe space



Travis Gray, Pullman Civic Theatre director, tells an actor how to react in a scene for the upcoming show “Gaslight” on Friday.

MARA JOHNSON, Evergreen columnist

The Pullman Civic Theatre is the oldest theatre in the Palouse area, established in the 1950s, and has been growing ever since.

The theatre is a nonprofit organization, using its perfor­mances to shed light on local organizations and show the community enjoyable aspects of the arts. Like many com­munity theatres, the Pullman Civic Theatre prides itself on the quality of its shows and hopes to keep it a safe space for those who need it.

“We hope to keep the arts alive and continue growing like we have been for so many years,” Wil Blanchard, the tech­nical director for the theatre, said. “I want this to continue being an escape from reality for people, and it’s fun.”

Every season the theatre puts on a play, and for each piece one night is dedicated to gathering donations for various organi­zations. For the past year, the theatre has been holding a fun­draiser called “bring a can and pay what you can,” in which it gives donated food to Pullman Child Welfare or Alternatives to Violence of the Palouse.

“These fundraisers are a way to give back to the Palouse com­munity,” artistic director Travis Gray said.

Blanchard and Gray plan on branching out from “bring a can and pay what you can.”

“We’re hoping to do ‘Coats for Kids’ with the December play and a school supply drive in the summer,” said Gray.

Typically, the theatre puts on four shows a year along with “Shows on the Side,” a way for the theatre to produce lesser-known plays which tend to lean towards dark comedy or are well-suited for adults.

Since the cut of the drama program at WSU, many stu­dents have been in need of a new theatre group, and the Pullman Civic Theatre holds open audi­tions for its plays. College stu­dents are more than welcome to join, Blanchard said.

“We hold open auditions for anyone that wants to join, even WSU students, especially since the program cut,” said Blanchard. “We’re a community theatre — we want the commu­nity here.”

Audition information can be found on the theatre’s website along with contact informa­tion and ticket sales. The show currently in the works is titled “Gaslight.” The theatre hopes to shed light on abuse with this play and others in order to help the community in any way it can.