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Over $1,500 was raised and donated for Parkinson’s research by Theatre Oxford’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike”

During the run of Theatre Oxford’s “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at the Powerhouse earlier this month, the production not only entertained audiences, but helped raise money for a good cause.

With the donations of vendors from Memphis, Oxford and Clarksdale for a silent auction and raffle, Theatre Oxford was able to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

This was the first time in the stage company’s 20 year history that they partnered with a major national charity and the play’s director, Matthew King, says it won’t be the last.

“Great art has a deep connection with humanity,” he said. “Our show was the culmination of many astounding talents on both the production side and with the cast. (Actors) Mevelyn Fernandez, Kate Hooper and myself all have family connections to this condition and we hope our art has helped bring attention to a disease that can and will be cured with similar efforts.”

When the show finished its performances, Theatre Oxford was able to donate $1552 to the foundation.

Producer Jennifer Murchison says the fundraiser was hard work to put together, but all worth it to raise money for Parkinson’s research.

“As I was going over our fundraiser, I heard again and again ‘my family member was diagnosed with Parkinson’s,’” Murchison remembers. “I heard it from friends when I told them what we were doing, business folks who asked what brought me to Oxford, it didn’t seem to matter who. Time and again, the same thing and it was always followed up with ‘this is a kind and generous thing you are doing.’”

She added that Theatre Oxford is “fortunate” to have the support of the community.

Those interested in joining a Theatre Oxford production or to submit any ideas for future fundraisers, the group can be contacted by email at theatreoxford@gmail.com.