Senior project play raises $2k for Star Theatre

A high school senior’s project raised more than two thousand dollars to benefit the Historic Star Theatre in downtown Willow Springs. Holly Wehmer, WSHS Class of 2023, wrote, directed, and produced Clara’s Star, an original stage play, as her senior project. Opening night was Dec. 16, and the community turned out in force.
According to Dean Aye, Director of the Willow Springs Community Foundation, Wehmer’s play grossed five-or-six thousand dollars and cleared a profit of $2,151.57. The Community Foundation owns and operates the Star Theatre.
“When I created my play, I just knew that whatever box office it made would go to the Community Foundation. Yet, I was still surprised by the amount we raised that will go back into the theater,” Wehmer told Howell County News.
According to Aye, the young writer has shown a passion for the Star and its history. “She is fascinated by the way it has survived,” Aye said.
Wehmer volunteered in the theater over the summer, spearheading a project to sort and organize the theater’s collection of clothing into a usable costume studio. Then came the play, which Aye called “wildly successful."
In their board meeting Thursday night, the Community Foundation voted to use the funds Wehmer’s play generated to purchase a new LED stage lighting system for the theater. The overall cost of the new system is about ten thousand dollars, Aye reports, but he insists it is because of Wehmer’s donation that the Community Foundation can proceed with the purchase.
“There are a lot of great people in this community who are willing to go the extra mile to help you,” Wehmer reflected on her experience. “I truly appreciate the support I received from the cast, crew, sponsors, and audience.”
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