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Baltimore’s now-shuttered community theaters are hurting | READER COMMENTARY

Rick Lyon-Vaiden, left, and Jeff Murray perform in a Fells Point Corner Theatre production of "Amadeus" in 2014.
Rick Lyon-Vaiden, left, and Jeff Murray perform in a Fells Point Corner Theatre production of "Amadeus" in 2014. (Harry Bechkes)

Fells Point Corner Theatre is a small, 84-seat venue in a converted 1850s-era firehouse located at 251 S. Ann Street. We have been one of the anchors for the Upper Fells Point community for over 30 years. Like many of our compatriots in the Baltimore cultural community, we have had to close our doors. Like many of our sister institutions, we will be without income for at least two months, possibly longer (“What’s canceled, postponed or changed in Maryland due to the coronavirus,” March 25).

We all are striving to stay afloat. We all have expenses to pay — utilities don’t pay themselves, and with aging facilities there are always things to fix. We all have an extremely talented and dedicated group of volunteers who, even in the best of times, are working with an ever-smaller set of tools. Even so, it’s been our pleasure to present a full slate of innovative and thought-provoking productions to the theater public. We continue to draw some of the best local and regional talent to participate in our productions. Our patrons and donors are very loyal and we bless them every day.

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This is a horrible period. To keep the country from economic collapse, the government, both state and federal, are talking about massive steps to shore up the economy (“What’s in the coronavirus stimulus bill: Checks to Americans, small business loans and more,” March 25). So much of this is being directed to very large corporations. Some steps are also being made to funnel funds down to individuals. Our service sector is hurting more and more each day and absolutely deserves help.

We humbly ask this of our elected representatives: please don’t forget our local theaters. Many are struggling to survive. We want to be able to open after this awful time and be able to give back to you, the Baltimore region, entertainment that you will surely need after such a long ordeal.

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Larry Lambert, Baltimore

The writer is president of Fells Point Corner Theatre.

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