TA News

Thetford Academy Awarded Vermont Arts Council Cultural Facilities Grant

Thetford Academy was recently awarded an $18,000 Cultural Facilities Grant from the Vermont Arts Council to complete much-needed technology upgrades in the Martha Jane Rich Theater. The MJR Theater, constructed in 2009 as part of TA’s last capital campaign, is a high-quality, generously-sized performance space and a point of pride for the school’s thriving theater and music programs. However, the theater’s dated and often unreliable lighting, sound, and projection technology are a stumbling block for both student and community users.

The performing arts have been a cornerstone of the TA curriculum and student experience for generations. In the broader community, the MJR theater has served as a space for a wide variety of speakers, performances, and meetings. In 2022, TA partnered with the Thetford Arthouse Cinema to become the home for the nonprofit’s successful community film series. “Having up to date technology will benefit both Thetford Academy and our community partners,” said Jeff Seabaugh, TA’s Drama and Choral teacher. “The existing technology is unreliable and impacts the technical elements of our performances and events.”

With new lighting and sound boards, TA can offer students a real-life experience that will leave them prepared them for work in regional theaters and venues. Improved projection and sound systems will increase the accessibility of presentations and community events. With the support of the Vermont Arts Council and others, TA is excited to bring modern theater technology to the Martha Jane Rich Theater and to continue to foster the performing arts in our community.



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