West Chester gets performing arts theater
The performing arts now has a place to call home in West Chester, which will be named after the Knauer family.
The performing arts now has a place to call home in West Chester, and thanks to a donation from Chris and Beth Knauer, that home will be known as The Knauer Theater for the Performing Arts.
The name, according to a statement released by the Uptown! Entertainment Alliance, is meant to honor Chris Knauer’s grandmother, Lena, and his parents, David and Nancy Knauer.
The Armory at 226 N. High St. is the location of the new theater and it will hold it’s New Year’s Eve Grand Opening Gala on Dec. 31, which has already been sold out.
“That it is an affirmation of the vision of the people who launched this endeavor to meet this need in our community” and “the fulfillment of this dream is truly exciting,” wrote Chris Lang, an Uptown! board member.
In their statement, the four founders believed a theater was one of three things missing from West Chester; the other two being a train station and waterfront property.
Chris Knauer’s grandmother, Laura Ellena Knauer, also called “Aunt Lena,” performed over 100 monologues songs, skits and poems and became known in Chester County for playing the musical saw as well as the piano for silent movies.
Eventually, her work with the arts led her to a career in radio and television, making appearances on the “Mike Douglas Show,” and “What’s My Line?”
She also entertained thousands of people over her 40-year career in places including St. Peter’s Village while dressed in Victorian attire and playing the saw and sharing stories.
David and Nancy Knauer,
Chris’s parents, also continued to support the performing arts throughout their lives. Both natives of West Chester, they continuously supported the arts. David played the saxophone and clarinet in the United States Army, and Nancy continues to attend the Criterion’s concerts at West Chester University, where she graduated in the 1940s.
“With the Knauer family name on the theater, the arts will continue to live on as part of the fabric of the community,” wrote Richard May, another Uptown! board member. To contact the Daily Local News, email email@example.com or message us on Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/ dailylocalnews, www. twitter.com/wcdailylocal.
Chris and Beth Knauer donated funds to help support the new theater. As a result, the theater will be named The Knauer Theater for the Performing Arts.
Chris’ parents, David and Nancy Knauer, were lifelong supporters of the performing arts.