Over the past sevenor eight years, volunteers have helped build this community's annual outdoor summer production, "A Field of Stars," into one of the most popular pageants in the region.
Bit by bit, a little at a time, costumes, scenery and a portable stage were constructed and used for the patriotic Fourth of july weekend drama, staged in the foothills west of Richfield. Within the past coule of weeks, during at least two separate incidents, all that work went up in smoke.
Last weekend, vandals torched the portable stage and rolled boulders across the road leading into the pageant's storage sheds, in an apparent attempt to keep police and firemen from reaching the blaze.
According to Michele Visarraga, president of The compani, which produces "A Field of Stars," vandals had also been at the site one week earlier, when they bashed holes in the sheds, removed props and costumes and used those for a big bonfire.
However, she noted that many of the performers kept their own costumes at home.
Among the set pieces lost in the blaze was a replication of the Church of boston Town.
"So far, we haven't got a clue as to who did it," Visarraga said Tuesday.
Compani's board of directors met to decide whether to cance this summer's production or to mount a scaled-down version.
Visarraga said the board has decided to produce the musical drama this summer, on July 1-3 in Richfield City Park.
"We'll have the same music and the same costumes. . .We won't let those pumks drive us out," she said.
The compani is an all-volunteer organization founded in 1990 and incorporated in 1992.