The Zeiterion Theatre hosted  their annual season preview party this evening. Members and community partners were invited tonight  to celebrate the success of last year's season while also catching a glimpse into what the 2015-2016 season will hold.

The on stage presentation opened with a musical performance, wilkommen everyone a la Cabaret. Rosemary Gill, Executive Director then took to the microphone to reveal that 2014-2015 had been a most successful season. Not only was it a financial success, but attendance to shows for the year had been at an all time high, the volunteer base had grown and memberships had risen by 50 per cent. She then announced that the year's theme would be one of untold stories.

The Zeiterion is a platform for story telling. People come to watch stories being told in the form of dance, theater, performance and song. But the search this year is for those untold. What does the Z mean to you? The Zeiterion has been part of so many people's lives. Whether it was an elementary school field trip, a first date, or a show that shook you to the core, it is near impossible to walk by the building without a sudden rush of nostalgia. An audio booth is set up towards the back of the theatre, inviting attendees to share that moment.

 

John Bullard, former mayor of the city of New Bedford, then addressed the crowd with his untold stories. Stories of what the theater means to him, and more importantly, his instrumental hand in helping save it from ruin. Mr. Bullard painted a precise scene of  what the theatre looked like, some 33 years ago. The bright chandeliers that hang brightly now were once dim and covered in cob webs and even the hidden box office revealed behind vinyl walls. This was his untold story. Raising money was not an easy job, but it was necessary. If you've grown up in this area, you can appreciate the gift of a local theater that is committed to enriching the lives of the members in its community and beyond. As Mayor Bullard reminisced about his encounter with famed violinist Isaac Stern, who had graced the stage, the most poignant of statements he'd made about  Mr. Stern's performance and the people of New Bedford was "We want people to be and expect the best." And that is what the Zeiterion offers.

He and WHALE had been tasked with raising funds and rallying support to save the last of seventeen theaters still open in downtown New Bedford. Thirty plus years later, we celebrate his shared story.

This year, you can expect to see acts like Peter Frampton and Arlo Guthrie.  The 2015-2016 season brochures were sent to print just hours ago. Support the Zeiterion this year with a like on Facebook, the purchase of tickets, by becoming a member, or joining in this year's quest for stories by sharing what the Z means to you.