MEDFORD, Ore. — Medford's own Randall Theatre Company has launched a GoFundMe campaign in hopes that the community will help it bounce back after a year (and change) marked by COVID-19 closures and restrictions.
It's been a bumpy road for the nonprofit Randall Theatre since even before the pandemic started. Though the company formed in 2010, performing from a converted warehouse space on 3rd and Front Street, they moved to a larger location at 20 S Fir Street in 2018. But after the first coronavirus lockdowns hit in March of 2020, the Randall soon lost its lease at the venue.
The company vowed to return, and return they did. A few months later, the Randall moved to 115 E Main Street, a smaller venue that was formerly part of the Howiee's on Front complex — dubbing it the Ghostlight Playhouse. The Randall later set its sights on expanding into the former Howiee's bar with the idea of opening a restaurant to serve downtown Medford while paired with the theatre.
The Randall has been pushing forward, but the impacts of the pandemic mean that they are not quite in a comfortable position. They're hoping that with a little help, they can achieve more sustainability.
“We just need to catch up on a few things and get the restaurant open on a daily schedule,” said executive director John Wing. “Once we get to that point, we’ll have a more stable cash flow to support the theatre company and the other entertainment in the Ghostlight Playhouse.”
Recently, the Randall launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $20,000. The funds are slated to pay for the Randall Theatre's current programming and work needed on the Ghostlight Grille so that it can open daily for lunch and dinner.
Productions in the Ghostlight Playhouse have already been scaled down to save on costs, and the Randall added livestreaming to cater to those who could not attend shows in person. They've brought in Slaphappy Comedy, local bands, trivia nights and karaoke to fill out the line-up.
“I think we have the potential to become something really special in Downtown Medford,” says John Wing. “We’ve got great shows going in the Ghostlight Playhouse and a new restaurant on the verge of opening full time. We just need a little help to get there.”
The Ghostlight Grille, located at 16 N. Front Street, is currently open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.