Shirtz Visits Sandusky State Theatre Construction
Last week Michael Shirtz toured the ongoing construction of the rebuild to the Sandusky State Theatre. Three years after the devastating storm brought down the stage house and large portions of the theatre, Michael has followed the construction phases visiting the theatre for update tours, sharing in media and community interviews, and spending time dreaming with the theatre staff about the next era of the State’s future. However, last week’s visit brought on a more emotional reaction to the work being done.
“For over 15 years, the theatre was a place where Pam and I often spent more time in that building, then in our own home. Its loss after the storm was a loss beyond bricks, and staging, and lights…it was a loss of a special place where you shared creativity and participated in great collaborations giving your heart, your mind, and your soul to a greater purpose. I will never forget the day after the storm when Chris and Tim walked me through the damage and we looked up at the chandelier strangely radiating this gold and silver beauty, as if it had power and its lights were on, but it was the rays of the setting sun shining on its crystals. The power of that simple, yet awesome moment of those sunbeams illuminating the next chapter of the theatre has never escaped by mind. After several visits seeing all the great progress, this walk thru was very moving because unlike the others, this time felt like a return home. Of course it’s under construction and being modernized with state-of-the-art production capabilities, but it’s transforming into this beautiful artistic sanctuary where all of its historical grandeur meets the fulfilling promise of a most magnificent future. It felt great to be back home with an aspiring journey of creativity and inspiration for generations to come.”
Michael has been associated with the State Theatre since 2006 as a music director for numerous theatre productions and camps, worked alongside his wife, Pamela, who has both choreographed and acted many times on the stage, conducted and produced choir and symphony concerts and festivals, developed and performed several touring shows that launched at the theatre, and produces the Jazz@8 Series which will return to the theatre’s programming once the venue reopens.
Shirtz continued, “the theatre staff, led by Chris Parthemore, along with Tim, Sheryl, and an incredibly supportive and passionate board, have been steadfast in their efforts rebuilding this treasure and ‘home’ for our community. Their amazing talents and efforts given to painstaking details, major impacting decisions, and countless hours dedicated to this mission, have not gone unnoticed. To all of them, I give them a standing ovation and say Brava! You have been amazing! And, while we know you still have much work ahead of you in the weeks and months ahead, just want to take a moment and say, thank you! We appreciate you and are looking forward to coming home!”
Michael encourages everyone to visit the Sandusky State Theatre webpage and learn how you can follow the restoration and reconstruction updates and support the theatre in its legacy for the next 100 years.
(Photos by the Sandusky State Theatre)