The main sources of income are donations and ticket sales, while the primary expenses are building maintenance and rights to shows, Hileman said. “We usually at least break even, but that is not always the case, depending on ticket sales and maintenance expenses each season.” (People can help maintain Ole’s viability by mailing donations to Ole Olsen Memorial Theatre Inc., 154 S. Broadway, Peru, IN 46970.)
The beauty of Ole is how people in the community blend their skills — theatrical and otherwise — with their love for performing. The result is a creative force that has won praise for quality productions. Equity sweat and greasepaint go together like PB and J.
Among such people are Jeff Carnagua, who’s president of the financial board; Diane Blair, who serves as vice president, and Anne Loy, secretary and historian. Brandi Murphy handles marketing.
On the theatrical side, John Kirk is the chairperson, with Voss serving as vice chair and Christy Sullivan as secretary.
Sunny Holtzlander is in charge of ticket sales, Joe Pyke oversees production, Cari Scott takes care of publicity, Angel Mumaw-Williams coordinates hospitality, and Hileman serves as treasurer.
Hileman also plays a pivotal role with Pat Piper and Jayne Kessler in producing the Children’s Theater.
Some people have become Ole fixtures over the decades, including Mayor Jim Walker, who has been involved for nearly 50 years. “Jim Walker lived it,” Voss said.
“Barb Cooley, who was on stage in my production of ‘Showstoppers Part Deux,’ has been a member of Ole for 45 years,” Voss noted. “She and I were installed into the Ole Hall of Fame together about four or five years ago. …
“Madge Marzalek just stopped being our dialogue monitor for shows about three years ago due to her age. She had been a member for 40 plus years. … Bob Radel had been involved in Ole for nearly 40 years as our bookkeeper most of that time. Tom Gustin remains involved and has been a member for more years than I know.”