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‘The show must go on': Cast, crew of East Bay theater look to rebuild after losing items to weekend fire

The cast and crew of a Contra Costa County theater company lost 45-years-worth of costumes and equipment in a fire over the weekend.

They were irreplaceable items the Pittsburg Theatre Company had been collecting since 1979.  

“Actually being here today and seeing it in person. Words fail me,” Alice Lustre of the Pittsburg Theatre Company said. “We had military uniforms, band uniforms, wedding dresses that people have donated over time, other formal wear, a lot of types of things that people just don’t have in their own closet.”

The warehouse caught fire Sunday afternoon and flames quickly engulfed the building before spreading to the grassy hillside. A total of 55 acres burned before firefighters could contain it. 

“The cause is still under investigation with our fire investigators the fire did start in the building and spread to the vegetation, but as far as how it started in the building, it is under investigation,” Lauren Ono of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said. 

“We have to replace absolutely everything that you can think of. Microphones, lighting equipment, tools that we use to build our sets, it’s all gone,” Michael Wilson, actor and technical director, said. 

He is part of the cast of the upcoming production “The Sunshine Boys”. Wilson said fortunately the crew picked up some of the set and costumes from the warehouse Sunday morning. They’re now trying to borrow the rest before opening night on Friday. 

“Theater people we say ‘the show must go on.’ That’s our motto for forever so that’s what we do,” Wildon said. “We will still do our shows, we will keep our schedule with this show and the shows that come after it and make it.

The company has started an online fundraising campaign .and they are hoping for a full house the next two weekends. 

“We want everyone to come out and see the show. We want to fill up all the seats in the theater. That would be I think the best inspiration for the whole company, is to have the theater full every night,” Wilson said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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