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Cast from CBT’s People Where They Are. Photo: Brynn Yeager

Clarence Brown Theatre patrons donated $16,306 to the Highlander Center during the run of the theater’s production of People Where They Are, which played at the Carousel Theatre from October 2–20.

Using the pass-the-hat philanthropy model, actors from the production were on hand following each performance to collect donations as patrons left the theater. Half of the proceeds from the CBT’s Pay What You Can performance on October 2 also went to the Highlander Center.

Donations were collected following a Highlander benefit concert held by the theater before the evening performance on October 19.

“We are enormously grateful and could not imagine a better outcome for the donations or for the miracle of the new play itself,” said Barbara Mott, development director for the Highlander Center.

The funds will be used for rebuilding and restoring offices burned down earlier this year due to arson, and for current Highlander Center educational programming. In appreciation, the Highlander Center installed a plaque commemorating the new play on one of its famous rocking chairs.

“The fire motivated us to contribute however we could to the rebuilding efforts and to support Highlander’s important work,” said Calvin MacLean, head of UT’s Department of Theatre and producing artistic director for the CBT.

At the CBT box office, the new play exceeded its sales goal by 106 percent.

“It has been an honor to share the story of Highlander and its fight for justice and democracy,” said playwright Anthony Clarvoe. “The astonishing generosity of the Clarence Brown Theatre and its audiences will help this necessary work to continue. But what moved and encouraged me was the willingness of all kinds of people to stay after the show and share their own stories, and acknowledge people with different experiences than theirs. I think this is how we give ourselves the chance to change.”



Brian Canever (865-974-0937,

Addie Morton (