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Park Theatre Group active with stage productions
Hairspray took the Park Theater stage in 2016. Its been one of the performances Park Theatre Group has helped produce with money donated from the community.

The show must go on – and the Park Theatre Group is making sure of it.
Now that renovation work at the Park Theater is largely complete, Park Theatre Group has shifted its focus to partner with local organizations to ensure productions make their way to the stage.
This includes working with Dream Reality Group for its performances like the recent “High School Musical” and assisting Paula’s Dance Academy for its rendition of “The Nutcracker.”
“The city is doing a good job of bringing different performances into the community,” said Sandra Haynes, secretary of the Park Theatre Group. “We want to bring something different into the community. The city can’t do the performing arts like we are able to do.”
Park Theatre Group was founded as a nonprofit in 2002 with the idea to preserve the historic Park Theater and restore it to its current magnificence. The group entered into a lease agreement with the city of McMinnville and began working with architects and local individuals toward that endeavor.
Fundraising efforts continued for years. However, when members attempted to obtain a loan for the estimated $1.2 million Park Theater renovation, they found that avenue was closed because the group didn’t own the property.
City officials moved forward with renovation and considered allowing Park Theatre Group to manage the facility. However, the city met a legal obstacle from the state. When officials attempted to borrow $2 million for renovation, Tennessee Municipal Bond Fund informed the city it could not use taxpayer dollars if it intended to hand the reins of the facility over to Park Theatre Group.
For that reason, the city paid for Park Theater renovation itself. Haynes says the money donated by the community to Park Theatre Group during those years went into Park Theater.
“I have a lot of people in the community ask me what the money has contributed to over the years,” Haynes. “The truth is we have used it wisely. A lot of the money went to architects and to present the city with drawings. We paid engineers to see if the building would accommodate theater. That’s what we did with the money previously. Our mission statement is to revitalize the theater and bring entertainment to the community of McMinnville. Now we put donations into performance and arts.”
Group members decided to switch gears and help produce theatrical performances that are expanding experiences for members of the community. It takes significant funding to make theater production possible.
Each production costs an average of $20,000, which means community support is vital. Haynes noted the recent “High School Musical” cost $4,300 just for the performance rights. Park Theatre Group helped pay that fee.
The group is requesting continued support from the community. Haynes says a supporter invests in the arts for the community, but also in the local economy.
Your sponsorship will bring four productions to the Park Theater for the upcoming season. All sponsorship levels include advertising in programs for every show. These programs are professionally designed, printed and will be presented to hundreds of patrons for each show.
Current partners are Dream Reality Group (DRG), and Paula’s Dance Academy.
 “It gives so many children here an artistic outlet,” said Vicki Myers, DRG stage manager and PTG administrative assistant, of the productions. “Although we do have some athletes, some children don’t play sports and are more into arts as their activities. We give them an artistic outlet.”
DRG plans to present its next production in partnership with Park Theatre Group in August: “Tarzan,” the stage musical based on the Disney film.
The group partners with Paula’s Dance Academy to achieve its annual “Nutcracker” ballet performance. Paula’s plans to have its third production this Christmas season. Each year the emphasis is on adding something to the production to make it bigger and better.
“With all of our successes and awards, the one I’m most proud of is our annual ‘Nutcracker’ ballet,” said Paula Barnes, owner of Paula’s Dance Academy. “It provides an outlet for my dancers to perform and showcase their years of hard work, discipline and dedication. The combination of the Park Theatre Group and Paula’s Dance Academy brings our dancers and community together, making this such an exciting experience for all involved.”
Monetary support goes toward materials for costumes, rehearsal/theater rental, participant scholarships, licensing of the music, composer and playwright royalties, insurance and production expenses, and other locally purchased supplies. States sales is also collected on every ticket sold and a portion of that is returned to the community.
If you would like to become a sponsor of the Park Theatre Group, contact Sandra Hayes at 931-743-7872 or make a donation payment to The Park Theatre Group; ATTN: Sponsorships; 113 W. Court Square; McMinnville, TN.