Mount Vernon theatre recovers, rehearses after vandalism

Published: Jul. 9, 2023 at 10:47 PM CDT
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MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (KCRG) - The show goes on at the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre after the group’s performance space was vandalized.

On the afternoon of July 4, the theatre was vandalized when someone emptied a fire extinguisher all over the seats and the expensive sound equipment.

“Which set off of course, panic. Like all day trying to figure out what happened, what we could clean up and how to take care of it,” said Courtenay Baker, director of the upcoming show Peter and the Starcatcher.

The theatre is in a community center; leaders of the theatre group said the door was unlocked so people throughout the building could access the elevator.

Baker said members of the community donated their time to clean up the space and, luckily, their soundboard still worked.

“If we had to replace the sound board, that’s several thousand. Thankfully, we did not have to replace the sound board,” said Baker.

While the theatre escaped financial damage, that doesn’t mean they were unscathed. When she heard about the incident, Braden Rood said she felt “sick.”

Rood has been involved with the theatre since she was a kid, and she calls it her second home.

TV9 asked what she would say to whoever damaged her safe space.

“I just hope that they learn from this, and that they change for the better,” said Rood.

The vandalism was a shock to those in this tightly-knit theatre community, but these performers are undaunted and will debut their show as planned.

“In the end, it’s not going to stop us,” said Rood. “It makes us stronge and just makes us realize how many— how much good there is in the world, even when bad things happen,” said Rood.

Peter and the Starcatcher debuts Friday.

Police are investigating the incident, according to a post from the theatre.