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Playhouse improvements increase safety, accessibility

Stairway entrance

Recent grants from Bath Community Fund are making a local theater more accessible to senior citizens and people with disabilities.

In 2018, the fund awarded a $1,000 grant to Western Reserve Playhouse to support the construction of a new entryway as part of a larger beautification project to upgrade the theater grounds and make its main entrance ADA compliant.

The rebuilding of the front entryway is a phenomenal improvement not only to first impressions, but also for addressing an expressed safety concern for many of our patrons, said Dawn Sniadak-Yamokoski, executive artistic director for Western Reserve Playhouse. By making the entryway more accessible to senior citizens and people with disabilities, the playhouse is able to engage with area nursing homes and invite their residents to attend preview shows at no cost.

The former gravel entryway often deterred these groups from visiting the playhouse, said Sniadak-Yamokoski, adding that the upgrade also allows the theater to include actors who use wheelchairs in its performances and classes. We want to create a campus that can be enjoyed safely by all members of our community, where residents young and old can share experiences and create memories, she said.

In December, Bath Community Fund awarded another capital improvement grant to Western Reserve Playhouse to build a new entryway for its basement. Similar to its main entrance, the new basement entryway will make the theater's acting classroom accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in spring 2020 and will include a new steel entry door, security lighting and a gabled roof portico. These projects will create a very functional and attractive facility where our vision of providing affordable drama education within the Bath community can be realized, Sniadak-Yamokoski said. We're so grateful for the support from Bath Community Fund and the impact they have had on our theater.

See the full list of grants Bath Community Fund has awarded in its history.

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