A documentary about the Triumvirate Theatre’s efforts to rebuild after a 2021 fire destroyed the group’s playhouse will premiere at the Kenai Cinema on Saturday.
“Bring a box of Kleenex would you?” Triumvirate Theatre President Joe Rizzo said of the film. “Come on, you got a fire, you got a community theater that’s been destroyed and you have children asking for donations; dancing and singing. What more could you ask for?
“The Show Must Go On” is a feature-length documentary — running approximately 75 minutes — produced by the Triumvirate as a big part of their ongoing fundraising effort, according to Rizzo.
The film is “about the fire in 2021 that destroyed our community children’s theater and about the community fundraising effort to rebuild a new one,” Rizzo said.
“Our whole point of it was to create a fundraising event,” Rizzo said.
Rizzo said he had the foresight to begin collecting footage early.
“I kind of had that in mind that maybe we would do a documentary,” he said, “So that’s why we have some of the footage that we have.”
Rizzo and others began working on collecting footage, and interviews with children associated with the Triumvirate were filmed early in the spring.
To produce the film, Triumvirate partnered with Soldotna production company Martin Media. Josiah Martin was able to shoot drone footage of the fire site, as well as reenactment footage with the help of the Nikiski Fire Department.
Some footage was also shot by Michael Miller, who Rizzo said is also one of the people drafting plans for the new building.
Editing of the documentary was handled by Martin Media. Rizzo said Martin donated a lot of his time working on the film, and helped Triumvirate to produce it at a fraction of what it would cost.
The Triumvirate hopes this weekend is the conclusion of one large chapter of the fundraising push. Rizzo said they’ve spent the summer pushing for completion of a challenge grant from the Richard and Diane Block Foundation.
That grant challenged the Triumvirate to raise $100,000, which would then be matched by the foundation with an additional $100,000. Then, the Rasmuson Foundation pledged to match that total with a further $200,000, adding a total of $400,000 to the Triumvirate’s effort.
Right now, Rizzo said they’re at around $90,000. He’s hoping that they clear the goal this weekend.
After the film’s event showing Saturday, Rizzo said he’s working on having a shorter version run on television.
He said it’s not as expensive as you might think to have something broadcast; the main expenses come from the already completed production.
He said there will also likely be another public showing of the film later this year, but he hasn’t determined when or where yet.
After those runs, Rizzo said the documentary will be made available online.
Tickets are $10 and available at triumviratetheatre.org. A trailer for the film can be viewed on the Triumvirate Facebook page. The film will show at noon on Saturday.