Loretta Geotis: Thriving in Theater

 

Loretta Geotis is the general business manager of the Marathon Community Theatre. 

 

 

The (2006) Marathon Community Theater cast of Chicago.
The (2006) Marathon Community Theater cast of Chicago. 

 

 

The (2008) Marathon Community Theater cast of The Amorous Ambassador. 

 

 

In 1995, a small group of Marathon citizens joined together to buy the current theater headquarters at mile marker 51 on U.S. Highway 1. Today it is a thriving, quaint community icon. 

 

 

Love brought Loretta Geotis to the Florida Keys, and another passion led her to the Marathon Community Theatre.

Geotis, the theater’s general business manager, came to the Keys in 2002 to join the man who is now her husband. A Midwesterner with a background in advertising and public relations, she changed fields after her arrival to work with an Upper Keys guidance clinic and then became office manager for a small newspaper based in Marathon.

In her native Indianapolis, Geotis loved the theater and had friends in the field — so when the position opened up at Marathon Community Theatre, she jumped at the chance to apply.

“I know my background in public relations, along with having an event-oriented career, helped me secure the job,” said Geotis, who began working with the theater in June 2005.

As well as intriguing performances and a loyal core of actors and technical wizards, the community theater has a long history in Marathon. A group of arts enthusiasts began it in 1944, even before there was an actual structure in which to stage plays. According to Geotis, theater supporters used to meet in private homes and presented shows in the old Marathon Chamber of Commerce building.

In the 1960s the group scattered, but in 1976 it was re-formed by several former members who incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. In 1995 a small group of Marathon citizens joined together to buy the current theater headquarters at mile marker 51 on U.S. Highway 1.

“They actually purchased the building and the cinema, remodeled it and worked diligently to create the amazing building we now have,” Geotis said.

Today, the theater is doing well, offering affordable ticket prices and presenting productions including Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” Neil Simon’s farce “Rumors” and a dance showcase set for June 2009. The facility also houses and incorporates the Marathon Cinema.

“We are a totally volunteer organization and continue to be amazed at the passion and dedication of our community to commit to keeping us in business,” said Geotis.

In addition to her work with the theater, Geotis contributes her time and talents to many other community arts organizations. She sits on the advisory board of the Florida Keys Arts Council and is involved with Marathon’s Bougainvillea House Gallery, Artists in Paradise in neighboring Big Pine Key and the Florida Keys Watercolor Society.

“The theater has had a relationship with the Watercolor Society for over a decade,” said Geotis. “We’ll host an art show and reception, and 20 percent of the profits from the art sale are then donated to our theater by the society.” The society art shows, as well as shows by local artists from Bougainvillea House and Artists in Paradise, can be viewed at the theater during the day and in the evenings during production runs. “The entire relationship works well for everyone involved,” Geotis said. “It provides a wonderful opportunity for our organizations to work together to promote and unify the arts.”

Geotis’ passion for the theater, which she considers “one of the treasures of the Florida Keys,” mirrors her enthusiasm for her life in the Florida Keys — a life she never takes for granted.

“I see the beautiful environment I live in and it’s different than any other place I’ve ever lived,” she said. “I’m very sunshine oriented and I love the outdoors, and the Keys also have allowed me to discover creatures in the ocean I never knew existed — it is a true wonder.”

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