Riedel Foundation awards grant to Bluff City Theater for free performances in Central Park

Bluff Citry Theater

From left, Riedel trustee April Baldwin presents a $4,000 check to Bluff City theater director Joe Anderson and theater board chairwoman Kjersti Cory. | Photo courtesy of Bluff City Theater

HANNIBAL, Mo. — The George H. Riedel Foundation has awarded a $4,000 grant to Bluff City Theater for two free performances in Hannibal.

The grant will help fund an upcoming show in May called “Forgottonia.” With the partnership of the Riedel Foundation, this show will have nine performances live in Central Park, with free admission. The award also funded the recent production of “Kennedy: Bobby’s Last Crusade.” That show was presented free in the theater.

In a press release, Bluff City director Joe Anderson said, “Offering free shows has introduced Hannibal to local theater like never before. We noticed an immediate change in demographics, with younger audiences, more ethnic diversity and first-time theater goers. It’s been a huge success.”

The Riedel Foundation has partnered with Bluff City Theater since its first performance in 2014. 

“The mission of the Riedel Foundation is to improve the quality of life in Hannibal,” grant administrator Sarah Deien said. “Bringing live theater to a diverse audience, and to be able to make that free for our residents, is a huge asset to a town of our size.”

Performances of “Forgottonia” will run live in Central Park from May 11-21. It is an original musical with a cast of nine performers. The play is based on the true history of 16 West-Central Illinois counties that briefly declared independence from the United States in the early 1970’s. The story explores the decay of rural communities, youthful angst and the power of people to bring about real change.

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