Anonymous donor purchases lot to build Tenino Young-at-Heart Performing Center

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The Tenino Young-at-Heart Theatre (TYT) is planning to build a “real live theater” in the Tenino Creative District, thanks to the generous help of an anonymous donor.

The property is located at approximately 480 Sussex Ave, between Keithahn and Ritter. The organization purchased the 0.78-acre property for $200,000.

Currently, the non-profit theater is seeking financial grants to fund the construction of the new theater. TYT is also planning to hold a celebration and a fundraiser on September 18.

Moreover, they are also working with an architect and a consultant on a building plan to create a space that incorporates the local theater’s charm. 

In a statement, Tenino Mayor Wayne Fournier expressed his excitement for the new building. “Over the years I’ve seen many TYT performances, and I am beyond excited with this news.” The Mayor added that the establishment of a new theater space is a welcome addition to the city, which has been declared as a state-certified creative district.

The theater began its performances in the summer of 1990. According to TYT Managing Director Bob McKenzie Sullivan, TYT’s first production was a neighborhood play entitled “Johnny Appleseed”. In fact, the initial cast of more than two dozen local children included all of the McKenzie Sullivan family children.

Three years later, the community eventually grew and the local school district offered Tenino High School as a venue for their play. For thirty years, until the pandemic, the school has been home to the group’s live performances.

Currently, the theater group is preparing for its summer musical called “A Year with Frog and Toad.” The play is based on the story by Arnold Lobel and follows the friendship between a cheerful frog and a grumpy toad as they go through the different seasons.

The play is set to be performed at the Tenino Quarry Pool site and to run from July 15-25.  Tickets will be sold on the organization's website

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