LCRA, City of Brenham award $25,000 grant to Unity Theatre Company

New carpeting and seating will increase safety, boost comfort and enjoyment

Representatives from LCRA and the City of Brenham present a $25,000 grant to the Unity Theatre Company for upgrades to the Main Stage theater. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured, from left to right, are: Kate Ramzinski, LCRA Regional Affairs representative; Lowell Ogle, LCRA principal account manager; Carol Freeman, LCRA Board member; Roger Ross, theater board president; Carolyn D. Miller, city manager; Atwood C. Kenjura, mayor; Leslie Wood, theater accountant and development administrator; Matthew L. “Matt” Arthur and Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, LCRA Board members; Kate Revnell-Smith, theater executive artistic director; Phil Wilson, LCRA general manager; and Tom Oney, LCRA chief people officer and executive vice president of External Affairs.

BRENHAM, Texas – The Unity Theatre Company will replace 22-year-old carpeting and seating in the Main Stage theater, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Brenham.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $18,385 in matching funds from the theater, will pay for new carpet and supportive seating to create a more comfortable and inviting atmosphere for theatergoers.

“We have been in this building here in Brenham since 2001,” said Kate Revnell-Smith, Unity Theatre Company executive artistic director. “The carpet has been stretched and reglued a few times, but it is certainly past its prime. The theater seats that we have been using for the last 22 years were second hand when we got them, and our patrons are sitting in these seats for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, so these upgrades are long overdue.”

The new seating will have a contoured back for support and better functionality to make it easier for visitors to sit down and stand up. There also will be more room for those who need to transfer to a theater seat from a mobility device.

“A lot of our patrons are older, and these seats are very uncomfortable,” Revnell-Smith said. “We are really excited to be giving people comfortable seats.”

LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said LCRA is proud to support the Unity Theatre Company, which welcomes thousands of visitors every year.

“It’s great to have a nice theater close to home so people don’t have to drive far to see live performances,” Wilson said. “People come to the Unity Theatre Company from Brenham and the surrounding communities, and I’m excited LCRA is able to help with renovations that will make it a more comfortable venue for all.”

Wilson said venues such as the Unity Theatre Company help communities attract new businesses and residents to the area.

“We are pleased to be able to support the City of Brenham and the theater with this grant,” he said.

In addition to four shows in the main theater, the theater offers children’s theater, home-school classes, camps in the summer and two black box productions in its studio space. The theater also has a play club that meets once a month and is open to the public. Aside from entertaining, the theater’s mission is to educate and nurture the cultural growth of Brenham and the surrounding communities.

Like many other businesses, the theater faced challenges coming out of COVID-19 and is still playing catch up.

Revnell-Smith said that without the grant, the theater would have had to wait another three to four years to get the project done.

“We are entering our 30th season in August, so I think that says something about our longevity and how much we mean to this community,” Revnell-Smith said. “We are hoping that we are going to be around for another 30 years, and one of the ways we can achieve that is with the continued support from the community and organizations like LCRA who have been very generous to us.”

The community grant is one of 44 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Brenham is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations.

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