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Struggling Randall Theatre in Medford helps young girl with anxiety

For one Medford family, the theatre is more then just a place to enjoy a show.

Posted: Mar 6, 2019 11:35 PM
Updated: Mar 7, 2019 10:26 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. —  Cast and crew from the Randall Theatre in Medford are learning that the theatre may be closing its doors for good due to serious financial problems. But for one local family, the theatre is more than just a place to enjoy a show. 

"I don't want to lose it,"  said Dawn Mcelreath. Her daughter performs at the theatre, and now Mcelreath is fighting back emotions after hearing the news that the it may close if the owners can't raise a substantial amount of money — to the tune of $20,000. The Theatre is asking for support from the community to give them a chance to keep going.

"I want it to be here forever, so all the kids and the community get to enjoy what my daughter got to experience," Mcelreath said.

Mcelreath's daughter Mckenzie Butterfield has been part of the theatre for some time.  Mcelreath said that her daughter has grown leaps and bounds because of her participation there.

"It built her . . . sorry . . . it built her self esteem and her confidence level," Mcelreath said.

Butterfield has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but acting has been helping her tremendously.

"For her to be able to be encouraged to be able to get up in front of an audience was a tremendous feat," Mcelreath said.

Mcelreath took NewsWatch 12 back to the night of her daughter's first performance:

"We didn't think we were going to make it." Butterfield had about 30 lines in the show for both nights. With the support of her cast and director, Mcelreath said that she nailed her lines.

"She was really able to overcome that anxiety and she put on a great show, all the kids did and we were very thankful to be able to watch her do that," Mcelreath said. She hopes that the doors to the Randall Theatre will continue to stay open — both for her daughter and for others who are also looking for a way to come out of their shells

The Randall Theatre will be open Thursday through Sunday night for a play called A Comedy of Tenors. Supporters are hoping this won't be the last show. 

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