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by Stephen Massott …

As many know, on Saturday, February 13, 2016, ARIEL experienced the most terrifying moment at our home, The Karen Wilson Children’s Theatre. The Dick Bruhn building, adjacent to ours, was engulfed in a 5 alarm fire and threatened our very existence.

We are happy to say – we are still standing, operating and producing our shows.  Although there is long road ahead of us due to issues caused by smoke and water presence in our building, we are moving forward with our 2016 season.

To say the least, we would not be here if not for the valiant and heroic efforts of the Salinas and surrounding Fire Departments. They went above and beyond to protect our home and everything inside. For nearly 7 hours, crews fought stray embers on the roof, doused the exterior structure walls to keep them cool and fire free, and physically moved things from our bottom floor to a safer and dry area on the main floor. We are forever grateful.

We would also like to extend our thanks to the Salinas community who have opened up their “homes” to provide us with off-site rehearsal and performance spaces. On the Monday following the fire, ARIEL was back in rehearsal for its upcoming production of The Little Red Hen and Pinocchio.

As Gail said in her interview with the Californian, “We have lost so little. “What we have is inconvenience. What we could have had was a disaster. We could have been looking at the ashes.”

Instead, we are looking forward to the future.

See all of Gail’s interview and read more information about ARIEL at:


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