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BLT hosting membership party on two nights

The Brookhaven Little Theatre will start its 2012-13 season off with two events this week.

     The theater’s annual membership party will take the form of a two-night event on Thursday and Saturday for the first time this year, said JoAnna Sproles, past president of the BLT Board of Directors.

     Sproles said Thursday’s event is an opportunity for theater supporters to come by The Haven on West Cherokee Street from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and get their season tickets for $45, while at the same time enjoying company, music and refreshments. The price of a season ticket will get attendees into the party, which has been an annual event for more than 40 years, according to Sproles.

     “People can come in right after work on Thursday night,” Sproles said. “It’s a come and go event. They can come back Saturday night if they want, or come out for the first time Saturday night.”

     Saturday night’s activities are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

     Sproles said the membership party was on Saturday in the past, but two years ago the membership party coincided with several college football games and attendance was low. So last year, the event was held on Thursday night in the mold of business after hours.

     “We got a good response from that last year,” said Sproles. “People came right after work. But we still heard from some of the community that missed the Saturday night event.”

     This year BLT will do both in an effort to please those who like different days and times.

     “We’ve done it different ways in different years, so this year we decided to do them both,” said Sproles. “We’re trying to fit everyone’s schedule.”

     The season ticket covers all of the productions the theater puts on for the year, which starts in October with a Halloween production and runs through July of 2013.

     “It’s a convenience for the public to have the season ticket, but it also is cheaper to do that than to pay for each ticket,” she said. “The purchase of the season ticket gives us money up front to cover the expenses to put on these productions.”

     Thursday night will also be a night for people to tour the theater and see the improvements that have been made.

     “We’ve done a lot of construction over the spring and summer,” said Sproles. “We did a considerable amount of painting and sheetrock work. Light installations and some electrical, sound and speaker upgrades were done to enhance the experience of attending a production.”

     Sproles said no matter which time people decide to come, they’re sure to have a good time.

     “We’ll have live music and refreshments and food both times,” she said. “So you can’t go wrong on either night.”

     Sproles said she is hoping for a good turnout.

     “We hope for a good turnout, but we understand how busy folks are,” she said. “Not every community has a theater, but the ones that do can really struggle from year to year.

     “We are really fortunate that we have a playhouse that puts on plays that includes all ages,” she continued. “We have productions now that are inclusive for young people and teens. We’re trying to foster a feeling of theater and what it can do for someone’s character as they’re growing up.”

     Those who can’t make either event can purchase tickets next door to the theater at The Country Peddler.