New Foundation Center Partners with Attic Playhouse for Fundraiser

The only thing better than going to a Sunday matinee is going to one that supports a neighborhood theatre—and a local charity.

New Foundation Center, a nonprofit organization that serves people with severe mental illnesses, will hold a fundraiser at the Attic Playhouse on March 14.

Formerly called WilPower, New Foundation Center offers recovery programs, permanent housing support, employment assistance, and health and wellness programs to its members.

For $75, you can buy a ticket to “It Runs in the Family,” a frantic comedy written by Ray Cooney, the master of modern-day farce. Admission includes a reception of hors d’oeuvres and drinks starting at 2:00 p.m., an hour before the curtain opens.

The Attic Playhouse, located in Highwood, is a convenient place where North Shore residents can share a laugh over theatrical elements like mistaken identity, confusion and misdirection—without the hassle of Chicago traffic or downtown parking.

Many donors and friends of New Foundation Center live on the North Shore, so hosting an event in the area was an obvious choice.

“We wanted to do something to lend itself to our constituents,” says Mary Gallagher, development director of New Foundation Center. “We also want to support the local theatre. It helps them sell a house, and it helps us get more people in attendance.”

Last year the nonprofit held a fundraiser at the Apple Tree Theatre, which has since shut down. In tough economic times, many organizations are holding on by a thread.

“If they can get through this time frame, people will go back to the theatre,” Gallagher says. “It’s a shame to see places close and not be able to offer local plays.”

The Attic Playhouse has been entertaining the North Shore since 1998, nearing its 60th main stage production.

What sets the Attic Playhouse apart from other theatres is the emphasis placed on trying new works and introducing new members of the theatre society to the audience. Though “It Runs in the Family” is not new, the cast includes an 18-year-old actor who just graduated high school and is making his professional debut.

The theatre also tries to keep ticket prices affordable so that audiences can attend a mixture of performances, says Kimberly Loughlin, artistic director of the Attic Playhouse.

“We also try to do a variety of types of shows—comedies, family friendly premieres,” Loughlin says. “We try to keep it interesting for ourselves and the audience.”

For those who are scaling back on donations, this event is a good mid-priced fundraiser, Gallagher says. A ticket for New Foundation Center’s annual benefit will run $200. This year’s event, scheduled for late summer, will include a sit-down dinner and an auction at a country club.

Ready for a good laugh? To order theatre tickets or make a donation, contact Mary Gallagher at 847-501-2879 or [email protected].