From a humble idea of helping local families in 1870, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) bought a rooming house that eventually evolved in large village-style orphanage that serviced all of Northwest Pennsylvania until 1972. To keep with its original mission, the Order then converted the complex into a hub for community service agencies, focusing on children’s needs, and it remains so today.
We at Meadville Community Theatre are one of the longest-term tenants of the building, occupying its auditorium and related offices for 40 years. Since the Odd Fellows building is nearing the end of its useful life, we thought it only fitting that we honor this impactful structure through our own artistic means. Light in Odd Spaces is a labor love for a building that has meant so much to so many, especially to MCT, for it has been our home for most of our existence.
A gifted Director (Beth Watkins) and a immensely talented cast have created a show which narrates the building’s history through a series of personal stories. Content was derived through historical research, personal accounts and interviews with prior occupants. The production even includes original songs and props built solely for this event. There is likely a “Light” story, reminiscence or item that will connect with anyone who ever inhabited Odd Fellows.
We hope you will come to help us celebrate this building and all that have occupied it. Although a short play cannot do total justice to a place that has existed for 150 years, MCT believes this production will capture the essence of an important part of our community’s (and MCT’s) history.