ST. PAUL, Minn. - For six long months breath was held; would Penumbra Theatre born in 1976 as the stage for African American actors to stage the African American story live to stage another show?
On Thursday night the answer to that was a resounding yes as 'Spunk' opened on the Penumbra stage.
Lou Bellamy, Penumbra's founder, alongside his daughter, Sarah, the theatre's education director could laugh together again.
The show, thanks to generous life saving donations, is going on.
"The support when we made the call for support came from all over the country large and very small donations that all really mattered and that heartened us because what it tells you is you are still needed, your voice is still important," Sarah Bellamy said.
Nearly 350 thousand dollars in funds came in this winter, from 1400 donors.
They came when the theatre was dark, no plays to entice.
Only the legacy of a theatre that was built to showcase the acts of August Wilson, the stories, of the people, who live them.
"To illuminate the human condition through the prism of the African American experience," Sarah Bellamy said is the mission of Penumbra Theatre.
"To tell the people's truth, it is culturally authentic," echoed her father, Lou Bellamy.
On Thursday Penumbra's family and faithful were able to raise a glass to another year, another curtain being raised.
And the community should be proud this theatre calls our home, theirs.
At least for another season, now, safely away, from the brink.
"I think Minnesota wants Penumbra around and we definitely want to continue to produce," Sarah Bellamy said.
Spunk runs thru April 7th.
Tickets are available at www.penumbratheatre.org.
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