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Rylander Theatre struck by lightning, again

By BETH ALSTON
beth.alston@gaflnews.com
americustimesrecorder.com

AMERICUS — The historic Rylander Theatre in downtown Americus was again struck by lightning Wednesday afternoon during a thunderstorm. The theater was struck in 2011, in the same place: a parapet on the back portion of the theater, the tallest part of the building. In the 2011 event, damage was done to the organ and dimmer switches.
Will Dozier, administrative assistant at the Rylander, said that he, Magaging Director Heather Stanley and Technical Director Lane Marchant were all in their second-floor offices around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday when the loud thunder clap got their attention.
“It was so loud and so quick, we thought it must have struck the building,” he said.
Dozier said the lightning strike blew several bricks off the parapet, strewing them in the area around the theater’s loading dock and the rear of Monroe’s Hot-Dogs.
He also said that several crew members from Sumter Players were working on sets on the stage when it happened. He said the house lights went off but were quickly brought back up. None of the other areas lost power and the phones and Internet service were not interrupted.
Dozier said all was go for Thursday night’s opening of “The Andersonville Trial” which continues at 8 p.m. today and a 2:30 p.m. Sunday matinee. Call 229-931-0001 or visit www.sumterplayers.org for tickets. The Friends of Andersonville are partnering with Sumter Players Inc. for the production.