As Alton Little Theater closes its 78th Season with the endearing Family Musical, THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, it is looking forward in a bold way with a vision to expand its facility with a new 350-seat auditorium and state-of-the-art theater. Little Theater has come a long way since Dorothy Colonius founded the company nearly 80 years ago and has become a beloved component of the community and treasured by patrons of the arts, players, and audiences. The theater has received recognition from the Illinois Arts Council and the American Association of Community Theaters for its longevity and contributions to the surrounding communities.

The theater is contracting with professional consultants to undertake a feasibility study that will hopefully be followed by a Capital Campaign over the next eighteen months. Members of the community are now being contacted for advise and counsel about the three-phase project and next week Holmes, Radford & Avalon will be sending out a series of letters and conducting in-depth interviews with many, many people who have invested in the theater and in their community. Details of the expansion will be forthcoming in the next few months but the existing land occupied by the theater could be utilized for new construction without any halt in the 79th or 80th Season Productions. The "Next Stage" could be ready by early 2015 and the final phase would include renovation and improvements to the existing structure so that Community Groups could access the space more easily for building rentals, concerts, and youth programming.

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ALT Founder, Dorothy Colonius, loved the word "amateur" because it came from the Latin word for "love". The expansion project will surely be a labor of love and allow the theater company to produce bigger and better shows, increase revenue for community outreach and truly make "The Showplace" a jewel in the Community Tourism assets.

Interviews and photos of the preliminary blueprints will be on display during the run of THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER and BYE BYE BIRDIE. Reporters may contact PR Director, Lee Cox, (618)531-3777 for more information.

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