PRESS RELEASE: MRT Raises Record Amount for Education at Auction

DATE: June 14, 2017
PR CONTACT: Michael Glicksman,
PR CONTACT PHONE: 978-654-7555
BOX OFFICE: 978-654-4678


2017 Set the Stage Celebration brings in over $100,000 for Student Matinees and Young Company

Lowell, MA – Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) raised $100,398 at the 2017 Set the Stage Celebration, for its education programs Student Matinees and Young Company. It is the most the 38-year-old theatre company has ever raised for its education offerings.
The event was held at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center on Friday, June 9 at 6:00 pm, at 50 Warren Street, Lowell, MA.

A Landmark for Arts Education

“When something like this happens, we all win” says Artistic Director Sean Daniels. “More of our kids can see live theatre—many of them for the first time ever—and more of our kids can make theatre themselves, telling their own stories on our stage. We’re ensuring that incredible theatre will always be a part of our lives here in Lowell and the Merrimack Valley.”

The revenue from the event will support MRT’s two education programs: Student Matinees, which bring students from across the region to see MRT shows—and Young Company, which has students tell their own stories in summer sessions, and stay connected with MRT all year long.

An Uplifting Evening

Complete with over 100 silent auction packages and seven live auction items, an auction by State Representative Tom Golden, a speech from Young Company participant Tyler Higgins, and live music by rockabilly band The Real Cool Cats, and spontaneous dancing, it was an uplifting and just-plain-fun evening for the Lowell community.

175 were in attendance. UMass Lowell received the Tsongas Award, accepted by English professor Keith Mitchell and Vice Chancellor of University Relations Patti McCafferty. Middlesex Community College (MCC) received the newly created Donahue Award for Community Leadership, named for MRT founder Nancy L. Donahue, and accepted by MCC President Jim Mabry and Theatre Department Head Karen Oster. Playwright Lila Rose Kaplan (2016’s “Home of the Brave” and next season’s “The Villains’ Supper Club”) received the Artistic Achievement Award. The awards were created by Lowell glass artist Aaron Slater.

The event was organized by MRT’s Interim Director of Development Nick Kane and Special Events Manager Marianna Wood, along with the company’s volunteer group the Friends of MRT.

Diamond Sponsors: Rickard K. and Nancy L. Donahue Charitable Foundation
Platinum Sponsors: Stephen and Suzanne Irish | Demoulas Foundation, Enterprise Bank
Gold Sponsors: Judy and Geoff, Frank and Belva Hopkins, Martha Mayo | Lowell Five, Washington Savings Bank
Silver Sponsors: Debra Grossman and Kate Tyndall, Judith G. and James C. Mabry, Susan Mitchell and Jim Waldo | Clark Insurance, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Bronze Sponsors: Don Bedard and David Vaillancourt, Denise and John Glaser, Lincoln Pinsky | Conway Insurance, Pearson & Pearson, LLC
Wine Sponsors: Fine Estates from Spain

Circle Health is the 2016-17 Season Sponsor. Merrimack Repertory Theatre is funded in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


Photos from the 2017 Set the Stage Celebration can be downloaded from MRT’s Flickr page:
1. Visit the Set the Stage Celebration Photo Collection of Flickr:
2. Select a photo
3. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
4. Click the download button and select “View All Sizes.”
5. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
6. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer.



Banner Photo: MRT founder Nancy L. Donahue dances with Steve Joncas. Photo by Meghan Moore.