The Triumphs of School Theater and Dance
Recent grass roots efforts in New Jersey and Alabama serve as an inspiration to all. The examples set by school theaters and dance studios in this post can be used as a guide for your local production.
Kick for a Cause
As described by Wikipedia, a grassroots effort "highlights the differences between a movement that spontaneous and one that is orchestrated by traditional power structures. Grassroots movements are often at the local level, as many volunteers in the community give their time to support the local cause, which can lead to helping the national cause." That is an apt description of a small dance school in Fair Haven New Jersey.
The Kick Dance Studio has announced its students will be performing a benefit for an elementary school that is still reeling from hurricane Sandy. The production, called 'Kick for a Cause', will be primarily for the student’s parents but is open to the public. Danielle Thibault talked to dance school owner Vanessa Berry about the grassroots effort:
“I was saddened to hear that Monmouth Beach Elementary School, where I fondly remember attending school as a child had more than three feet of water in its classrooms,” said Vanessa Berry, owner of Kick Dance Studios in Fair Haven and Rumson. “Sandy’s flood waters devastated the building, books, supplies and, more importantly, the hearts of its children. My family and Kick’s students wanted to help the school with a fundraiser that raised funds for essential school supplies, but also lifted its families and faculty’s spirits with music and dance.”
Noteworthy is the fact that 100% of the ticket sales are going toward the cause and that tickets are being sold in advance on the dance studio’s website. Selling advanced tickets online has special meaning to busy parents since it saves them from running an extra errand and guarantees they will be able to see their children perform. Monmouth Beach school superintendent Brian Farrell says 'Kick for a Cause' has special meaning to the students as well:
[the] proceeds to the Monmouth Beach School will go such a long way in getting student and teacher resources and materials. Our school has been so blessed with the charity from communities across the United States. What makes this a real special event is that some of our own students will be participating in the show! They are able to give back to their school and community. What can be better than that!
'Kick for a Cause' is not the only triumph of a grassroots effort this week...
In Dothan Alabama, a the theater at a local middle school has been kept thriving thanks to community grassroots efforts. The Beverlye Middle School latest production of ‘The Little Mermaid’ is currently in dress rehearsals and set to begin this month. According to Jim Cook, the school theater production is of a higher quality than would normally be expected:
Dress rehearsal for 'The Little Mermaid' could easily be confused for a high school or community theater production. The sets were made by designers at Chipola College, the costumes were rented and the lights and special effects were capably handled...each show the school has put on has become more technically challenging, as faculty sponsors and students learn more about theater production.
Cook notes that the middle school has a production budget of $5,000 and hopes to recoup in additional costs through grant funding and ticket sales. A review of the school’s website shows the performance has already sold out even without the benefit of online ticket sales. However, anxious parents will be facing one small hurdle on the night of the show - seating is not reserved and doors will open just thirty minutes before the curtain goes up. New grants notwithstanding, future productions at Beverlye would benefit from the ability to ask for and accept donations during the ticket purchase process.
Dothan Alabama has a history of triumphs by school theater and dance studios. To date, the Patti Rutland Jazz dance company has provided scholarships to more than 4,000 children in the Dothan city school system. The master choreographer writes of her mission to help school dance productions:
"This year, PRJ will provide over $50,000.00 in scholarship money so that hundreds of children throughout the Southeast will be touched by and grow through their experiences in dance. Through this outreach program, we enable children to enjoy the enrichment, character development and positive benefits that come from an involvement in dance. Dance is an extremely effective tool for the development of strong work ethics, self-determination, self-esteem, positive attitude and respect for others. We want all of our dancers to be well-rounded, culturally aware and internally enriched individuals who will remain lovers and supporters of the arts for a lifetime."
School Theater and Dance Studio Ticketing
If your school theater or dance studio is participating in, or is the beneficiary of, a grassroots effort, be sure to adopt a ticketing technology that functions as a supporting cast member.
ThunderTix online ticketing software for school theaters and dance studios offers the same powerful tools used by large theater companies and concert venues, but at a price made affordable for tight school budgets. We can help you sell tickets online as well as prompt for charitable donations during the purchase process. If the "stampede of parents" is a concern, know that an option for reserved seating charts is also available.