BERNARDS TWP., NJ - After almost 40 years of performances and dramatic presentations in the Somerset Hills, Basking Ridge-based Trilogy Repertory Co. is appealing to the community to pledge funds to help construct a Cultural Arts Center at Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge to also serve as an indoor home for the theater group.

Trilogy Repertory is partnering with Fellowship Senior Living on the construction of the Cultural Arts Center planned for Fellowship Village off Allen Road in Basking Ridge. A for the multi-purpose community center where Trilogy Theater Company will be based in residence, was approved, 4-3, by the Bernards Planning Board in summer 2017, as part of a larger expansion plan.

Their use of the new facility is contingent, however, on having Trilogy helping raise funds for the construction, according to information from Trilogy Repertory Co. Serving as the community face for the necessary fundraising efforts, Trilogy has launched a pledge Initiative on behalf of the 21,000-square-foot project, the non-profit theater group announced recently.

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Completion date projected for next spring

Ground was broken on the community center theater in April, and tentative completion is for March or April 2019, said Hank Barre, director of development for Trilogy Repertory.

“We have never undertaken a fundraising effort in the Somerset Hills community but in this one instance we are asking for your financial assistance," Trilogy President Jaye Barre said in a press release.

Trilogy Repertory is a not-for-profit theater company which since the early 1980s has produced the outdoors Plays in the Park series at in conjunction with Bernards Township, and has brought Children’s Participation Theater to local libraries since the early 1980s. Those productions will continue, according Trilogy's founders. This year's Plays in the Parks production was "The Little Mermaid."

The theater group has also provided historical enactments and costumes for local organizations and community events. Most Trilogy programs and productions have been free to the public or offered at nominal cost. 

All donations are tax deductible as both Trilogy Repertory and Fellowship Senior Living are both 501 (c) (3) not for profit corporations, said Hank Barre.

The theater group is also planning a fundraiser called “Party with a Purpose” to be held this October 16 at Primavera in Stirling where attendees can enjoy food, music, and a silent auction. The group is also asking for donors of items or services for the silent auction. 

Trilogy also plans a series of activities over the next few years such as the “Haunted History Tour” which was successful last Halloween at the Ross Farm. 

Trilogy had been housed in the “Little Theater” at Ridge High School for sixteen years but when the new Performing Arts Center was built at Ridge that space was absorbed. While using facilities such as the Liberty Corner Firehouse and the Pleasant Valley Park Amphitheater, Trilogy continued to search for a permanent home that would once again allow for a year-round season, the founders said.

“About five years ago we began to work with the folks at Fellowship Village, helping to design their Cultural Arts Center to both serve the residents and to provide a venue for periodic Trilogy public performances," said Barre. To accomplish this goal, Trilogy agreed help to raise funds for the multi-purpose facility. 

During hearings on the Fellowship Village expansion, not everyone was in favor of the plan. Some critics said they were concerned that the increased traffic on the senior living property had not been adequately addressed.

The pledge plan allows donors to spread their contribution over three years if they choose. There are a variety of ways to help including matching and legacy pledges. There are also a variety of recognition programs available to individuals, families and businesses to memorialize the contributions of donors, the theater group said. 

Residents with questions or want to make a pledge can obtain a pledge package by calling 908 604-4800 and leaving a name and address. Options can be viewed and more information is available on the Trilogy website at www.trilogyrepertory.com, or by calling or emailing Hank Barre, Director of Development at 908 872-6247 or hbarre@aol.com

The theater group's announcement said Trilogy looks forward to public support and providing many more years of live theater in the Somerset Hills.