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Pay It Forward: Rexburg Community Theatre

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The Rexburg Community Theatre is celebrating 10 years of giving back to the community. Lately, some people in the audience say the actors have been harder to hear. We wanted to find out why and to pay it forward.

"For me, it's like an artist with a blank canvas. You start with this blank canvas and then you start to throw color and texture on," said Ann Cluff, president of RCT. She is one of three people that started the theatre 10 years ago. Back then, they had to take out a small loan to even put on a production.

"To pay for the royalties. It's the royalties that kill you," said Cluff.

Royalties are based on the size of the auditorium, the number of seats, whether all the seats can be filled and the price of admission. It's really a guessing game. Venues for the RCT range from the Madison Junior High School, where they started years ago, to the Romance Theater downtown, to the new Madison Performing Arts Center that holds 1,100.

Recently, the cast of about 100 performed "The Music Man." We were tipped off that the cast is struggling a bit with microphones.

"In performing arts, if you can't be heard, that's a problem," said Cluff.

Currently, the RCT rents wireless mics from Madison High School, but they want their own.

"And they're expensive. A good quality mic is about $800, and that's one mic. We need probably about 25," said Cluff.

The conversation stopped for a moment, because it was time to pay it forward.

"Oh yeah. Most of our..." Cluff said as a man walked in and interrupted the interview.

"Ann, how are you?" asked Kory Carling.

"I'm good," said Cluff.

"Good. My name is Kory, and I'm with Mountain America Credit Union," said Carling.

"Hi Kory," replied Cluff.

"I've heard a lot about the plays that you put on," said Carling.

"Yes," said Cluff.

"And the entertainment that you are providing the community here in Rexburg. And for that reason, I am here to pay it forward," said Carling.

"Wonderful," said Cluff.

"So I've brought with me today $500," said Carling, opening a blue envelope and pulling out the cash.

"Oh my goodness!" replied Cluff.

"I know that you can put it toward good use," said Carling.

"Yes we can!" replied Cluff.

"And you can continue to entertain the community and continue to give back," said Carling.

"Thank you!" said Cluff.

"So on behalf of Mountain America Credit Union, I'd like to present this to you," said Carling handing her the money.

"Oh, well, thank you. Can I stand?" asked Cluff, who was seated in a chair.

"Absolutely!" said Carling.

"Can I shake your hand? Can I give you a hug? Thank you so much," said Cluff.

"You bet," said Carling.

"That is wonderful," said Cluff.

"So there you go," said Carling.

"Oh my goodness. Thank you. That's going to help us quite a bit," said Cluff.

"You bet," said Carling.

"Thank you!" said Cluff.

"You're welcome," replied Carling.

"Thanks so much," said Cluff.

The Rexburg Community Theatre is a nonprofit, but there is still the cost of props and costumes. They try to offset that with a small participation fee.

RCT will be holding a 10-year anniversary gala at the Romance Theater in September. It will be a black tie, red carpet event to celebrate the anniversary. Then, a World War II production will be presented in December, with auditions beginning in September. Next summer will be the big musical, "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

RCT averages three productions a year depending on scheduling, because it's all volunteer-run and most everybody involved holds down another job.

"Pay It Forward" airs the second Wednesday of every month. If you know of a nonprofit organization or someone who deserves to be recognized for their contributions to the area, click on "Pay It Forward" on the right side of our website and fill out the form, or send an email to Eyewitness News anchor Todd Kunz at

Todd Kunz

Todd Kunz

Todd is an anchor for KIDK Eyewitness News 3.


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