MURRAY – Playhouse in the Park is preparing to host a virtual fundraiser on Saturday to raise a small amount of the revenue the community theater lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization is calling the event “The Lost Season” since every show originally planned for 2020 had to be canceled. The only shows Playhouse was able to stage last year were outdoors.

“For ‘The Lost Season,’ we asked 13 community leaders to each commit to raising $1,000 for Playhouse,” said Playhouse Executive Director Lisa Cope. “A script was written for us by Nancy Fast, James Bates, Kevin Swartz and Jonathan Carter, who are Playhouse volunteers. The script references all of the shows we intended to do in 2020, but, of course, were unable to.

“The 13 fundraisers (and some of their children) starred in a filming of the script. Everyone who donates any amount will be given the link to watch the recording of their friends and family member acting in a play. For most of these folks, it is their first time on a stage! The link will be available Saturday night, March 20. Donations can still be made to any of the fundraisers or directly to Playhouse.”

Many Playhouse supporters will be performing in the program, including Jennifer Apple, Betty and Gary Brockway, Michelle Bundren, Lacosta Hays, Judi and Terry Little, Kelley Mackey and Lance Allison, Kevin Munsey, Jason Pittman, Heidi Shultz and Tim Stark.

“We are so grateful to these community leaders who agreed to step way out of their comfort zones to help Playhouse in the Park,” Cope said. “We had a great time working with them and welcoming them to the Playhouse stage.”

“The support we have received from the community is amazing!” said Playhouse Board President Holly Bloodworth. “We are so excited about this unique fundraiser because it not only helped us financially, but we also discovered new talent. We definitely want these wonderful community members back on the stage in a regular performance.

“I also cannot brag on our script writing team enough. A few of us came up with this crazy idea, and Nancy Fast, Kevin Swartz and Jonathan Carter took the ball and ran with it. It is not an easy task to take seven shows and mash them up into something that makes sense. It has been a fun, crazy adventure for us all!”

“What happened in 2020?” said Marketing Committee Chair Catie Bates, one of the event’s organizers. “We were so LOST without our stage and theatre friends. We haven’t let go of the idea of the season that could’ve been. We have invited local leaders to do a virtual presentation of the 2020 ‘Future is Now’ season. As you can imagine, no theatre means no funds, so we are asking for a donation of any kind to have access to this performance — a virtual ticket.

“Each of the performers will be fundraising on our behalf on Facebook and/or directly. You can contact them or Lisa Cope for more information, and you can mail in cash or checks directly to Playhouse on behalf of your leader of choice. We’d be lost without your support. Thanks to all that have kept us afloat. We’ll be back at it soon!”