Studio Playhouse, the Montclair community theater run by Verona resident Mark Liebert, was devastated in Saturday’s flash flood.
The theater’s furniture and prop storage, scenic shop, actor’s prep room and heating system were destroyed by water that came up through the basement drains and down a sloping driveway. The theater says the rushing water was so strong that it forced open a walled-up garage door and broke through an adjacent metal entrance door. Studio Playhouse is located next to the A&P Supermarket on Valley Road in Montclair.
The water rose to four feet in the basement, destroying historical records and photos, as well as the theater’s entire collection of upholstered furniture, wooden chairs, and vintage kitchen items. The prop and costume collection of the Essex Youth Theatre, also stored in the basement, was also affected. Thankfully, no one was in Studio Playhouse when it flooded.
Champion Waste Removal has donated a dumpster to collect all the ruined items and it will be arriving tomorrow, Tuesday, August 14. If you can move things from the basement to the dumpster, check Studio Playhouse’s Twitter feed for the best time to drop by to help.
Once the cleanup is complete, Studio Playhouse will likely need help gathering new props and materials. The nonprofit theater is run entirely by volunteers and its major source of revenue is the tickets sold for its eight yearly shows, four of which are for children. Many Veronans, including middle and high school students, act in these shows. Tax-deductible donations can be made by check to Studio Players, 14 Alvin Place, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043, or by PayPal.