Spirit of Broadway Theater reaches fundraising goal for Benedict Arnold play

Norwich – The world premiere of a musical examining the life and influences of Benedict Arnold will be staged here in his hometown next month, with the successful Internet fundraising drive by the Spirit of Broadway Theater that yielded more than $30,000 toward the project.

Theater Artistic Director Brett Bernardini appealed directly to his audiences in recent weeks, saying major backers of the play backed out in fear of being associated with the nation's most notorious traitor.

The play, written by Jeffrey Lodin and William Squier, is ready to go, and could have been sold to another production company but for the fundraising, Bernardini said.

Bernardini launched a 30-day kickstarter.com campaign to raise $30,000. The campaign ends at 9:50 a.m. Thursday. The project reached its goal today, totaling $31,294 with 145 backers making pledges.

Rehearsals start Monday with the first public performance scheduled for Sept. 11 at the theater at 24 Chestnut St.

The play will be a highlight of a week-long series of events throughout Norwich focusing on Arnold's life and his childhood in Norwich.

c.bessette@theday.com

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