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Taproot Theatre nearly destroyed by fire

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I woke up to distressing news this morning. A three-alarm fire that destroyed two businesses in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood nearly destroyed Taproot Theatre.

Taproot is just the kind of endeavor we are hoping for when we talk about Christians working with vision, integrity, and excellence in the arts. It is an important part of the Seattle theatre scene, and a wonderful operation.

[url="http://jeffberryman.com/2009/10/23/the-near-taproot-fire/"]Jeff Berryman -- actor, novelist, and local pastor -- blogs about the event here.[/url]

Please pray for the people who run Taproot, especially Scott and Pam Nolte, who are dear friends of mine.

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Getting various descriptions of the extent of damage ... it sounds as though fire didn't directly enter the Taproot building, but there will be water damage from the fire hoses, and firefighters went in and opened walls & ceilings with axes to make sure the fire hadn't spread. We'll know more when Scott & Pam finally get in to inspect the place.

Tonight's performance of[i] Enchanted April[/i] is definitely canceled ... the one I was scheduled to usher at, don'tcha know. I gather (as of noon on Friday) that they're still seeking an alternate space for tomorrow's shows.

It's not just a performance space ... there are offices in the basement, as well as thousands of bucks' worth of costumes and a small prop/scenery shop. The fire also affects Taproot's road company, since they can't get in the building to get their costumes/props.

My wife, an ex-Taproot employee, is taking this pretty hard.

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Latest word on the theatre's condition, from Facebook:

[quote]
The fire dept gave us access to the buildings, and the building with the 3 cafes and a coffee shop looks like a total loss. The theatre's lobbies, box office and lower offices have suffered extensive water damage - but no fire damage. And no damage to the performance space, scenic and costume shops. Everyone here is exceptionally thankful for the messages and prayers from friends and patrons, and for the many theatre-buddies that have offered help and space. Thanks friends and God bless you all.[/quote]

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