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Theater group launches campaign dedicated in late volunteer’s name

The Stephen Worthington Memorial Theatre Technology Fund campaign will be going public on March 5, according to a news release.

The “silent phase” of the campaign began in November 2020. Campaign committee co-leaders Larry Biddison and Carol Cacchione contacted individuals and corporate donors asking them to give beyond their annual contributions to HG to help jump-start the effort to raise $50,000 in Steve’s honor. The money will allow Hamilton-Gibson to purchase needed high tech equipment to upgrade the sound and lighting systems at the Warehouse Theatre.

Kacy Hagan is chairing the HG Fundraising Committee responsible for the public phase, which will begin on Steve’s birthday, March 5 and end the following Thursday, March 11.

“Our goal is to raise $10,000 in the public phase through our seven-day social media campaign to reach and possibly exceed the overall $50,000 goal,” Hagan said, according to the news release. “Donations in any amount are welcome and appreciated.”

Each of the seven days, a different short video will be posted on the HG Facebook page and other media to highlight Steve’s involvement with the community theatre arts group along with daily notices of the campaign’s progress.

“On March 5 of this year, Steve would have celebrated his 60th birthday. He was 55 when he died on Nov. 26, 2016,” the news release said. “With his death, the Hamilton-Gibson family not only lost a friend but also a theatre wizard both on stage and back stage. To honor this thoughtful, multi-talented man, the Hamilton-Gibson board of directors created the Stephen Worthington Memorial Theatre Technology Fund.”

“Steve loved tech stuff,” said Thomas Putnam, Hamilton-Gibson’s artistic director. “For decades, beginning when he was in high school, he worked with various regional radio stations. He loved sound and balance and everything just right.

“When he began working with HG he naturally gravitated toward all things tech, though it was through a role in a short play — encouraged by his late father Tucker Worthington — that he made the HG connection,” said Putnam. “He was a natural when working with sound systems, comfortably setting up microphones and cables and mixers and all the other components necessary to make sure the actors on stage were heard by the audience.”

Although he was regularly on stage as an actor, more often Steve was behind the scenes setting up lights and sound and then running them for performances. He also traveled with HG to theatre festivals to handle sound and lighting for productions HG entered in competition. “He knew the tech language and it was a huge relief to know that all things tech were in his good hands,” Putnam said.

“Steve took great satisfaction when all the tech systems and the performance went off without a hitch. Success meant no attention was drawn to what he did. But, it was Steve’s work that created the magic and believability necessary for us to tell a good story on stage,” said Putnam.

At the time of his death, Steve was involved in a major project for HG. He was upgrading the entire sound and lighting systems at the Warehouse Theatre. “He had done extensive research on what we needed, what we could use and what we could afford,” said Putnam. “On the Friday he died, Steve had texted that he had the whole plan laid out and itemized and would go through it with us on Monday. It was not to be. The memorial fund was set up to honor Steve by accomplishing what he had devoted his attention and energies to do for us.”

For more information, visit the HG Facebook page or website (https://www.hamiltongibson.org) or call 570-724-2079 or email hamgib@gmail.com.

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