Marquee celebration: The Next Act, the best act

Finley Ward reacted as the iconic Astra Marquee was lighted Wednesday night. The marquee was reinstalled earlier this year after being extensively refurbished. The theatre reopens this weekend with a sold out concert. Photos by Matthew Crane.

David Shepherd, WITZ AM/FM News Director, live-streamed the relighting of the iconic Astra Theatre Marquee Wednesday night.

A pre-event tour was granted to many of the donors that helped Next Act’s three-year effort to renovate the historic theatre.

Next Act President Marc Steczyk thanked the efforts of all the volunteers, donors and community members that have supported the restoration of the theatre over the three-year process. Steczyk teared up twice as he read through the list of those that had helped in the group’s lowest moments to raise more than $2 million to complete the project.

Next Act Chairwoman Leslie Hamby took the stage during Wednesday event to read comments from the other board members regarding Marc Steczyk’s efforts in leading the group to raise more than $2 million to renovate and reopen the Astra Theatre.

Next Act board member Courtney Knies-Ball and her husband Andrew Ball beam at the entrance to the refurbished theatre as Next Act Chairwoman Leslie Hamby reads comments from the other board members regarding Steczyk’s undaunted steadfastness through the long process.


Next Act board member and documentarian Jay Hamlin takes a few photos from the roof of the historic theatre after the marquee is relit.

The crowd of more than 200 people mingled after the marquee was relit Wednesday night.

The members of Next Act: Jay Hamlin, Rafaela Schaick, Marc Steczyk, Courtney Knies-Ball, Eddie Luegers, Leslie Hamby, Selena Vonderheide and Ben Nowotarski.


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