Oglebay Institute’s Towngate Theatre in Wheeling recently donated a truckload of costumes, fabric and sewing supplies to the Greenbrier Valley Theatre in Lewisburg. GVT sustained significant losses due to the recent flooding. The basement took on more than five feet of water. As a result, GVT’s entire stock of costumes, props and set pieces along with all sewing machines and supplies were destroyed.
GVT development director and Wheeling native Micah Labishak reached out to the Towngate staff for assistance. Labishak was active in Towngate stage productions when she lived in Wheeling.
“We knew immediately that we wanted to help,” said Towngate Theatre director Tim Thompson. “When a small theater loses everything, it is devastating. It takes years to build a supply of props and costumes. We understand how difficult it is.”
So, the Towngate Theatre staff along with some faithful volunteers quickly went to work. They scoured Towngate’s storage areas and filled bags and boxes with costumes and fabric of all kinds. The Friends of Towngate, a volunteer group dedicated to raising money and awareness for Towngate and its mission, donated money to purchase much-needed sewing notions and supplies.
Volunteers loaded the Oglebay Institute van. Then, Thompson, along with Oglebay Institute director of performing arts Kate Crosbie, delivered the items to GVT.
“If arts organizations can’t support each other, how do we expect anyone else to support us? It’s up to all of us to keep the arts alive and well in West Virginia,” Crosbie said.
About Towngate Theatre:
Part of the nonprofit Oglebay Institute, Towngate is a cornerstone of creative life in Wheeling and serves as an entertainment destination for residents of Wheeling, the Upper Ohio Valley and beyond. People of all ages and backgrounds gather here to create and experience art onstage. Most of all, Towngate celebrates the essential power of theater to illuminate our common humanity. The community enjoys and participates in hundreds of live performances, classes and workshops year-round.