Photo Courtesy of Don Carrick - Studio 413

The grounds of Sinking Spring’s Shocktoberfest were more spectacular than spooky this weekend as talented members of Genesius Theatre stunned crowds with a cabaret-style performance.

According to Director Christopher Sperat, the performance included numbers from popular musicals such as The Little Mermaid, Jekyll & Hyde, and Chicago, to name a few. He also shared that many of the pieces performed were serving as a sort of preview for the upcoming theatre season, which will hopefully resume in January 2021.

Genesius Theatre has been a mainstay of the Reading community for 50 years, and donations are currently needed to repair some damage to the theatre itself.

Photo Courtesy of Don Carrick – Studio 413

Housed in an historic building that, according to Producing Artistic Director Larry Fecho, was formerly the Northeast Republican Club of Reading, Genesius has been entertaining Berks County with award-winning performances of classic, new, and original plays and musicals for half a century.

While the pandemic caused the cancellation of numerous scheduled shows, all of which are now scheduled to be performed next year instead, Showstoppers is the third event that Genesius has been able to perform this summer. Two prior cabaret shows, featuring the musical groups Bunchafunk and The Belle Tones, took place in August at the Reading Liederkranz.

Both Sperat and Fecho shared that, in addition to these performances, Genesius was also able to host their annual Summer Camp for children ages 6-14, which was successful while still being able to adhere to CDC safety guidelines.

While the camp typically only runs for one week, this year it ran for three weeks, with over 60 children total in attendance. According to Sperat, “It was unprecedented.”

Undoubtedly, theatrical entertainment provides both a breath of fresh air and a dose of much-needed joy, especially in these challenging times.

Genesius Theatre is a non-profit, tax-deductible organization that relies on the revenue from performances and generous donations from sponsors. When asked what the community can do to support the theatre while performances are primarily on hold, Sperat shared that additional fundraisers are currently being planned, including a designer purse raffle and a fundraiser at Scoop de’Ville in Birdsboro.

The biggest thing the community can do to support Genesius? “Attend events like these, and consider making a donation,” said Sperat, his joy at once again being able to bring the magic of theatre to Berks County clearly evident…even behind his mask.