Fundraiser for Children of Ukraine and a Hospitalized Theatre Palisades Founder

Theatre Palisades Youth Director Lara Ganz is organizing a fundraiser that will support a TP founder, Cindie Wright Banks, as well as children in Mariupol, Ukraine. The youth will be performing “Puffs” at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 9. Tickets are by donation only.

“Any donation amount is most greatly appreciated,” Ganz said, noting that all the money raised will go to either the Wright Banks family or a children’s fund in Maripol, Ukraine.

The play “Puffs, or Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic,” will be performed at Pierson Playhouse. It is a 2015 original play by New York-based playwright Matt Cox. The play is a comedic retelling of the Harry Potter book series by J. K. Rowling, but from the perspective of the “Puffs.”

Cox explained that “Puffs” “is ultimately a story about growing up — which, I believe, we have all done at some point or other. It’s a story about going to school, trying to make friends, and not being very popular. There are bullies, you’re figuring yourself out, and all the while the most famous kid in the world sits next to you in class. This is adolescence through a wizard filter. Plenty of people with zero Potter knowledge have had fun with us, too.”

Theatre Palisades youth in third through eight grade will perform “Puffs.” Ganz said that “TPY, our own children’s group, which has graced our stage for decades wants to help the children of the bombed Donetsk Regional Theater of Drama in Ukraine and help augment medical expenses for Cindi.”

Wright Banks, a founder of Theatre Palisades, was a driving force to secure the initial design and building permits for Pierson Playhouse, located on Haverford Avenue. She has spent almost three months in the hospital after a medical emergency.

“She has come out of a medically-induced coma and is making slow progress towards healing,” Ganz said. “Her strength of character and positive attitude brought her through this crisis.”

TP youth watched in horror as the Mariupol Theater became the largest bomb shelter in that town, and was saved, but lives were lost in the bombing. The theater was built in 1887, with seating for 800 and orchestra space.

“They pledge to rebuild,” Ganz said. “Theatre Palisade is 6,633 miles from the Mariupol Theater but just ‘next door’ in aim and, as all theaters, in love of art. We need to help them rebuild.”

To attend, email jonganz@hotmailcom to reserve a seat. Donations may be made at the door. Or if you can’t attend and would like to donate, mail to:

Theatre Palisades
Attn: Fund4Cindie/Ukraine
PO Box 88/
Pacific Palisades,
CA 90272


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