Plans are set to bring an enhanced experience to the local performing arts.

Plans are set to bring an enhanced experience to the local performing arts.

The board of directors at Stone's Throw Dinner Theatre has started a partnership drive that will continue on a yearly basis, and will raise funds for theater improvements, expansions and enhance the playbills provided at every performance. Donations to the theater are tax deductible as the theater operates as a non-profit entity. Opportunities come in four categories each providing various benefits: Platinum, Gold, Silver and Bronze.

“I am very excited,” said Pam White, board member of four years and local thespian. “The main thing is we're upgrading the facility to offer more things for the community. I feel that there is a lot of support in our area for the arts, and this will only make it better.”

The partnership drive is part of an ongoing effort to heighten the quality of the local theater and the experiences had by those who love it. By the end of this week, a new stage will be installed at a foot higher – improving the view for every seat in the theater. Klayton Dennis, a Carthage graduate and freshman at Missouri Southern State University, directs the sound and lights for the theater. The recent improvement also included energy efficient lights, more speakers and mobile microphones for the actors.

“We're making good progress,” Dennis said on Friday. “From here we just have to install the lights for the steps and some cosmetic work. I enjoy working with the lights and sound, the theater is always growing and they appreciate my work, and I appreciate them.”

In 2011, the theater underwent a significant remodel of the dining room. After the stage is complete, the next improvement will be for the patrons. The playbills, which are informational, paper booklets provided to viewers for each performance, will change to a glossy, full-color (possibly) collectible. The board of directors hope to include more information about the play, the actors and also provide local advertizement opportunities to the community.

Funding from the annual partnership drive will help the theater's supporters dreams for the future a reality. A potential blueprint of the future Stone's Throw Theater includes an expansion that would add a new west front entrance, a gift shop, expanded kitchen with pantry and more lobby space. The possibilities can only grow from there.

Betty Bell, who has seen the theater grow from an organization that put on performances at Grace Episcopal Church to a happy facility on the original Route 66, said she was excited to see the theater continue its journey.

“It was in 1984 when we became an incorporated local theater,” she said. “We had a big fundraiser that was a black tie event. Sam Butcher and other members of the community gave donations and in 1988 we were able to build this building. It's been added to over the years – I nailed the front door and Joe said 'I didn't know you knew how to use a hammer' … People have a misconception that the theater is owned by someone. The community owns it.”

To learn more about the theater, upcoming performances or for more information about the partnership drive, visit Also, find the theater on Facebook or call 358-9665.