Tibbits Opera Foundation & Arts Council, Inc. held its annual meeting at the historic opera house last Thursday, January 25; it was followed by the board’s organizational meeting.

The theme that resonated through the evening was that the theatre is doing well. Attendance was up; audiences are returning with last summer’s production of “Grease” breaking box office records over the past 20 years. The number of programs also increased, and as donations continue to support the theatre, its financial position remains strong.

Outgoing board president Chris Donbrock reflected on his past three years as president. He noted the improvements to the building over that time, including the dressing room renovation completed in 2023. In April, the theatre dedicated the rooms and also thanked donors for the one million dollars invested in the theatre over the past ten years since the completion of the façade.

The evening opened with Coldwater High School students and a preview of their musical “James and the Giant Peach” which opens Feb. 1 at the theatre. Audience members also enjoyed a short video highlighting some of the behind the scenes moments with the 2023 Tibbits Summer Theatre company members.

Donbrock acknowledged the board members coming off the board with special recognition for Rick Merrill who served for 12 years including three years as board president. Also recognized were Dave Coyle who served for 9 years and Angie Marsh, Cisco Ortiz and Daniel Gordon who each served three years. Those joining the board include Dylan Foster, Jennifer Poe, John Ranshaw and Terry Ann Whelan.

Elected as officers during the organizational meeting were John Bolton as president, Joe Hughes as Vice President, Dylan Foster as Treasurer, Erin Jansen as Secretary, and Diane Pridgeon and Dave Norton as members at large. The rest of the board also includes Jose Albarran, Donna Gardner and Diane Harmon.

Copies of the annual report are available at Tibbits’ business office at 93 W. Chicago St. and may be viewed online at Tibbits.org.

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