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Night of theater will benefit new center

As plans for the future Carrollwood Community Center take shape, supporters are setting out to raise money.

The Carrollwood Players will give a benefit performance of The Second Time Around on Feb. 13. The play marks the start of fundraising efforts by Friends of the Carrollwood Community Center.

"Since this is going to be a performing arts community center, we thought it was an obvious evolution to do a play and have the benefits from the arts community go to the community center," said Kate Davis, center project coordinator.

The Second Time Around by Henry Denker is a romantic comedy about love and family relationships. Tickets are $50 for front row seats and $25 for all other seats. Raffle tickets and a silent auction will round out the evening.

Money earned by Friends of the Carrollwood Community Center will top off Hillsborough County's $2-million renovation of St. Mark's Episcopal Church, the future community center site. For example, the Friends group hopes to purchase padded theater chairs instead of folding chairs, Davis said.

The center is expected to open in June of 2006. Outdoor architectural work may include moving the entrance to the other side of the building and placing an outdoor stage beneath the trees surrounding the old church entrance. Davis said this would make it possible to host performances such as Shakespeare in the park.

In addition to an indoor theater, Davis said, the center may have a potter's wheel, space for watercolor painting and a cyber cafe.

Center uses may include arts and crafts, dance, karate and adult enrichment classes, in addition to theater performances, special events and meetings.

The Friends group has discussed other fundraising ideas, including a gourmet dinner and an auction, but no dates have been set.

"It'll be an ongoing project," Davis said. "We're hoping that there will be people that want to be involved with this on an ongoing basis."

_ Stephanie Hayes can be reached at 269-5303 or shayessptimes.com.

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