Cory Tanner, co-owner of The Bolton Company, a Meridian-based venture capital company, now has an ownership stake in Starlight Mountain Theatre, a summer musical theater company in Garden Valley. He made a deal with the theater’s owner and artistic director R. Ed Davis to take over the business side of the struggling company.
Starlight has been around for 15 years, producing a summer of repertory musical theater in its Garden Valley amphitheater.
Tanner and his business partner Aaron Lombardo saw Starlight’s production of “Big River” last summer when Davis announced that 2014 would be the theater’s last season.
“We said no way,” Tanner says. “The acting was great and the ambiance was super neat. This is too great to loose.”
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So they decided to take on the management side of things for an ownership stake in the LLC.
Tanner’s only experience in theater was playing Frank Butler in Boise High School’s production of “Annie Get Your Gun” when he was a senior. He went on to get his MBA at Purdue University in Indiana before returning to start his business in Meridian.
Tanner is now the company’s business manager. He will head up fundraising, ticketing, grant writing and the development of a five-year plan. He and Davis also will look at whether the company will become a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
Davis will continue as Starlight's artistic director.
Tanner’s goal is to raise $200,000 in sponsorships and donations to get the theater on a solid path, he says.
This summer, Starlight will produce four musicals in repertory May 29-Sept. 2: “Cinderella,” “Calamity Jane: The Show,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and its signature production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.”
Dinner will be offered for purchase on Fridays and Saturdays, and patrons are welcome to bring a picnic the other nights.
Starlight also will produce its Summer Youth Theatre Camp for 6 to 18 year olds July 20-27.
Learn more about Starlight Mountain Theatre's season here.