Giving an Old Space "New Soul"

Mar 13, 2017

Mary Fluhrer-Nighswander, who co-founded the Davenport Junior Theatre in 1951.
Credit Davenport Junior Theatre

A children's theater group is raising money to pay for major renovations. Davenport Junior Theatre needs to raise about $160,000 to fix up The Nighswander Theatre.

 Artistic Director Daniel Sheridan says the project is long overdue. 

"We've made great use of the theater itself for 36 years. The time has come, things are a little worn, and we need to make sure we secure the theater for the next generation of students to come."

Sheridan says the renovations will include replacing theater seats and carpeting, and repairing the floor. He hopes the work will be finished by September.

The City of Davenport will contribute $70,000, but only if the Junior Theatre can raise the rest by the end of April. The group has raised about half of that amount so far. 

Sheridan says the Junior Theatre's programs have engaged kids for decades.

"We're not focused on making the next great theater star, or TV celebrity. It's really about giving kids the power to stand up and speak, with clarity and confidence, and with the creativity they need to impact other people." 

Nearly 1,700 students from around the Quad Cities are enrolled in The Junior Theatre. At least 15 other organizations also use the space throughout the year.