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story.lead_photo.caption 2018 FILE PHOTO: The Shikles Center Photo by Julie Smith / News Tribune.

The show must go on.

After 13 years in the Shikles Auditorium, Capital City Productions hopes to kick off next year's productions in a new home — Capital Mall.

CCP signed a non-binding letter of intent in April with Farmer Holding Company, which owns the mall, CCP founder Rob Crouse told the News Tribune on Friday. FHC has identified space that is available and would meet CCP's needs, he added, but he did not wish to reveal the exact location yet.

The Jefferson City Housing Authority owns Shikles Auditorium, also known as Shikles Recreation Center, at 1200 Linden Drive in Jefferson City. The Housing Authority leases it to the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department, which then subleases it to CCP.

The Housing Authority announced Thursday it is selling the Shikles Auditorium to Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri, the social outreach arm of the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City.

The two entities plan to close on the property after the current tenant's lease expires Dec. 31.

While CCP will be sad to leave the building they have called home for more than a decade, Crouse said, CCP is "grateful" to relocate to the Capital Mall.

"We, the CCP board, CCP team and family are so very excited about this opportunity and working with the Capital Mall," he said. "We believe we can not only flourish at the mall but also become a great asset to them as we continue to pull patrons into our productions from Jefferson City and the surrounding areas."

CCP has created a foundation committee to raise funds for renovations to the nonprofit's new home.

"We are thrilled to see what 2020 brings and opportunities it will mean for Jefferson City as a whole," Crouse said.

CCP plans to finish its 2019 performance season at the Shikles Auditorium.

CCP's production of "The Addams Family" will run Oct. 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26.

The nonprofit's production of "Plaid Tidings" will run Dec. 5-7, 12-14 and 19-21.

CCP plans to perform "The Bodyguard: The Musical" in February 2020, "Bonnie & Clyde: A New Musical" in April 2020, "Cats" in June 2020, "Billy Elliot: The Musical" in August 2020, "Jekyll & Hyde: The Musical" in October 2020 and "Elf: The Musical" in December 2020, according to the dinner theater's website.

Since moving into Shikles Auditorium, Crouse said, the nonprofit has invested tens of thousands of dollars in improvements.

"We hope the work and renovations CCP has done over the past 13 years will not go unrewarded and compensation be given to CCP after the sale to the diocese," Crouse said.

Catholic Charities plans to open a health and social services center in the Shikles Auditorium sometime in 2020.

"We are thrilled with this new opportunity to expand our services, especially in such a central location that will allow easy access for so many of our neighbors," Catholic Charities Executive Director Dan Lester said in a Thursday news release.

Catholic Charities' purchase of Shikles Auditorium is being funded through a grant from the SSM Health St. Mary's Foundation-Jefferson City.

The diocese will have 18 months from closing to complete renovations on the building, under its agreement with the Housing Authority, acting as the Jefferson City Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority.

Crouse said he was "pleased the new owners will carry on a similar mission" as CCP — helping others, whether it be individuals, businesses or not-for-profits.

Founded in 1991 under the name Capital City Players, CCP has helped more than 48 not-for-profits and offers several programs and camps to the community, Crouse said.

Once CCP moves into Capital Mall, he added, the nonprofit plans to add a new program that will perform smaller productions to allow individuals to work with professionals and gain opportunities to become directors and producers.

Earlier this year, the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority accepted proposals from those interested in purchasing and renovating the Shikles Auditorium. CCP submitted a proposal, but it was not accepted, Crouse said.

Crouse said CCP was blindsided more than a year ago when the Housing Authority announced it was discussing selling the Shikles Auditorium. CCP representatives spoke with the Housing Authority Board of Commissioners and Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Commission in hopes of creating a proposal that would allow CCP to stay in the Shikles Auditorium.

In a Thursday news release, Housing Authority Executive Director Cynthia Quetsch said the Shikles Auditorium "was not furthering our housing mission" since it was a non-residential building.

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