Bond Foundation Donates $9.9K to Abrams Theater

The Leon H. and Clymene M. Bond Foundation awarded a $9,900 grant to Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. for the theater’s Can You Hear Me Now? project - a new sound system.  The sound system will enhance the theater experience of the cast, crew, and audience, including older adults and individuals with hearing impairments. ASPI is a community theater organization that presents 3-4 shows a year at the Nancy Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple Street, Abrams.

According to Bond Foundation executive director Jennifer Hanna, the project was selected for funding because of the theater’s significance in the community.

“The foundation’s board of directors recognized Abrams Spotlight Productions as a great creative outlet for the local community as well as an entertainment venue for people of all ages,” she said. “The board was also impressed with the dedication and hard work of the many volunteers who are responsible for the success of Abrams Spotlight Productions. The board felt that the sound system will also allow Abrams Spotlight Productions to better serve the community.”

With grants from the Bond Foundation and Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, ASPI has the necessary funds to purchase a state-of-the-art theater sound system: sound board, amplifier, speakers and microphones. Additionally, ASPI will install a hearing assisted sound loop system that works wirelessly with people’s hearing aids.

Bill Koehne, president of Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc., said the community theater was grateful to be selected for the grant, because the current sound system is past its useful life. 

“When the sound board failed during ‘White Christmas’ rehearsals in 2022, we scrambled to find a solution. Luckily, we could borrow a sound board from another theater. But that wasn’t a long-term solution,” he said. “When a speaker failed this year during rehearsals for ‘Gypsy,’ it was just another indication that our theater needed a new sound system.”

The ASPI summer show, “Lustful Youth,” is next on the theater’s agenda. The comedy tells the out-of-control story of a television statistician contractually obligated to write an evening soap opera. Written and directed by Mike Eserkaln, the artistic director of Comedy City in De Pere, “Lustful Youth” will be performed June 8-11 and 15-18.

Volunteers will provide the labor to install the sound system, saving the theater an estimated $3,000. Carpenters, electricians, and ASPI volunteers will pull wire, groove the hardwood floor for the sound loop, and install and connect the system.

“A new sound system will really make a big difference,” Koehne said. “When performers’ voices are too quiet or overpowered by music, it’s hard for the audience to follow the storyline. The new sound system and hearing loop enables everyone to fully enjoy a show.”


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