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Mudlark Theater kicked off the 2016-17 season by raising nearly $90,000 from supporters at its second annual benefit, Larkabout 2016, held on Sept. 17. Proceeds from the event go directly to Mudlark’s Milk Jug Fund, which supports a season of ten theatrical productions starring young performers and provides more than $13,000 in unconditional scholarships for young people to receive high-quality arts education in the form of camps, classes and productions at Mudlark.

Community leaders Kendra Morrill and Lisa Weatherhead chaired the event in coordination with Mudlark’s Development Director, Elizabeth Feiertag. “I think it was an unequivocal success,” says co-chair Kendra Morrill. “First, we significantly exceeded our fundraising goal, and the money we raised will help our programs grow and support our scholarship fund, which will allow even more kids to experience Mudlark.”  

The organization honored Laura Eilts, former board president, with the 2016 Mudlarkian of the Year Award, given to an individual who makes extraordinary contributions to the Mudlark community through acts of service, creativity, kindness, and stewardship. The evening concluded with a moving program featuring remarks by Artistic Director Andrew Biliter, Executive Director Michael Miro, and Board President Hans Hansen. The highlight of the program though was a moving performance by Mudlark’s Youth Board entitled “The Mudlark Difference,” a selection of stories and testimonials from Mudlark constituents about the organization’s impact.

Mudlark begins its 2016-2017 season with a production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” directed by Michael Miro and Andrew Biliter and adapted by Mr. Biliter from the short story by Washington Irving. The play runs Oct. 21-30 at Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.