Local lawmakers come together to rebuild theater ruined by Ian

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Matias Abril
Published: Updated:

Two state lawmakers have stepped up to help an iconic Fort Myers attraction return to its former glory.

Representative Spencer Roach and Senator Jonathan Martin brought home $750,000 to help rebuild the Florida Repertory Theater after it was hit hard by Hurricane Ian.

“All politicians are a little bit of an actor at heart,” Roach said.

The show must go on.

That’s what Roach and Martin told themselves when they broke a leg to keep the theatre open.

Ian tried hard to shut it down.

State representative Jenna Persons Mulicka joined Roach and Martin in securing state money to continue making repairs.

“The arcade theater is a cornerstone of downtown,” Mulicka said.

On Thursday, Roach got to live out his dream onstage, as he presented a $750,000 check to the theater and its artistic director: Greg Longenhagen.

“Getting this boost from the state is really a game changer. For us, it’s like a shot in the arm. We have over $2 million worth of damage here on the block,” Longenhagen said.

Longenhagen said the theater would never be able to make it without help. The hurricane would have been their final curtain call.

Now, Longenhagen is glad he can finally sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

“There is an extreme benefit to people’s well-being and happiness for those who experience theater and allow theater to envelop their hearts and envelop their minds,” Longenhagen said.

Now, the show will go on.

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