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Thinking outside the box

Published: Sun, April 26, 2009 @ 12:00 a.m.

Thinking outside the box

We don’t know if a church and a community theater can coexist in a single building.

We suspect a lot depends on the church and the theater — and on how open and accommodating each can be to the other’s needs.

But we were intrigued by the interest shown by the Christian Revival and Discipleship Center in the shuttered Youngstown Playhouse.

If everything worked out, the congregation would get a facility suitable to its needs, and the Playhouse would get the financial help necessary to save a historic building and get back to the business of entertaining people.

Only the church and the theater group know if they’ll be able to make a deal. But that they are even talking is exciting.

It shows a willingness of some people to think outside the box. And we’re in a time when business, cultural institutions and, especially, government have to look for new ways of using facilities and people to get more out of less.

In a play, each actor has a role. But theater troupes long ago found that an actor could play more than one role, as long as both characters didn’t have to be on stage at the same time.

Every mayor, county commissioner, township trustee or school superintendent should look at their work forces and ask if artificial barriers are keeping productivity down and costs up.

If barriers exist, it’s time to tear them down.

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