So what goes on after the curtain comes down?

The short answer…. lots.

Many people are unaware of just how much work actually goes on at the theatre when there is not a performance getting ready to go on- or some people think that the Parkway Playhouse only does things in the summer.  This is simply not true. In fact some of the most critical work at the Parkway Playhouse takes place when there ISN’T a show being performed and it takes a year of planning for productions to go from idea to opening.

We are RIGHT NOW between shows at the Parkway Playhouse, and here is what we are working on:

1. Building Upgrades and Fire Code Compliance

The Parkway Playhouse facility is OLD.  It is also charming, unique, full of character, and there truly is nothing else like it.   Over the years the theatre has spent thousands of dollars and even more in volunteer man-hours keeping the building in the condition that it is currently in.  (We are long overdue for some renovation!)   But we have to keep working on it.  Last year we fixed the roof, redecorated the bathrooms, sprayed for bugs, built a Memorial Garden, and CLEANED!  Our current Board President, Alice Hutchins, is the queen of volunteer workdays and they are fun and the work done makes a huge difference almost immediately.

This past year, we had a building inspection and we had some upgrades to make.  The most noticeable change  is our front door now has upgraded handles and panic hardware.  We are also working on our stage floor…. and, yes,.. more CLEANING!

2. The Show Goes On!

You may not be aware of it but we will open 3 more shows this before the 2011 is out.  The Parkway Playhouse Jr. program is working on two musicals that will both be performed by the up and coming performers in our performing arts training program for students between the age of 5-18!   The first show is A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD and it will run on November 11 and 12 at Mountain Heritage High School and tickets will be available at the door.  This musical is based on the children’s book and if you want to know what it means to embrace life, then come and watch some young drama students sing and dance their hearts out retelling this story of an amazing  friendship.

Bugsy Malone is based on the cult 1970’s film that featured Scott Baio (that’s right… Cha-Chi, Charles, reality TV) and Jody Foster in a world of hoodlums, thugs, and heavys who sort out their differences by “splurging” their rivals with guns shooting whipped cream.   It is funny, witty, charming, and about to go on the road.  That’s right- BUGSY MALONE will be included in the 2012 National Junior Theatre Festival, which is held in Atlanta, Georgia in January of 2012.   You can support the participating Parkway Playhouse Jr. students who are performing in this musical by coming to our December 15 performance at Mountain Heritage HS.  Then it is off to Atlanta.

The third show we are working on is our Holiday production and the last show of our 2011 Season.  BEAUTIFUL STAR: AN APPALACHIAN  NATIVITY.  This production combines the nativity story with traditional mountain music and story telling.   It was created by North Carolinians Preston Lane and Laurellyn Dossett.  It is a play within a  play- which is to say that the characters in the play are in fact getting ready to perform a play.  It is wonderful.  It features a great local cast including Parkway Playhouse staple performers Roberta Whiteside and Rob Storrs and is directed by the equally fabulous team of Ami Pisano and Steve Grindstaff.  Since the show takes place in a church we decided to do it in a church.  We were lucky enough to have the Bald Creek Methodist Church welcome us and they are hosting this production which will run December 8, 9, and 10.

3. Fundraising

This activity could be called a lot of different things.  But fundraising is a big deal for any non-profit organization.   The Parkway Playhouse operates on a budget of about $200k each year.  Sure we sell tickets, but given that the average ticket price is just a little over $15 we would have to sell twice as many tickets or raise the prices which would make the theatre inaccessible to some. We don’t want that, so it is through the generosity of our growing family of donors that we are able to make theatre affordable to almost anyone in our community.

Fortunately supporting the Parkway Playhouse is easy to do and the average annual gift to the Parkway Playhouse is about $100. Some donate more, some donate less.  The fact is that if 25% of the people who attended a play in 2011  donated $25 the theatre would be financially secure.     We are looking to meet our 2011 fundraising goal of raising $9000 more before the end of the year.  (If we exceeded that goal we would be ok with that too….).     We are also looking to make fundraising easier for people to take part in.  For people who might like to support the theatre but may not feel comfortable making a lump sum donation can now do an installment pledge through our secure website.    People can also make their full donation by using our website as well.   If you can make a donation and help us reach our goal we hope you will- there is a link at the bottom of this post and that you will consider sharing it with other theatre-lovers.

4. Finally….

The website needs revamping, grants to be written, press releases to go out, mailings to be posted, tickets to be sold,  events to be planned, and productions to be designed, scheduled, cast, and then rehearsed.  Our first show of 2012 opens on May 4, 2012.  That is 191 days from now…. or 27 weeks or 4600 hours….no matter how you look at it the time will fly and it will be showtime again.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR YOU… (AND THANKS FOR READING OUR BLOG!)

If you would like to make a donation to the Parkway Playhouse’s 2011 Fundraising campaign, click here to make a secure one-time or recurring donation: https://www.justgive.org/nonprofits/donate.jsp?ein=56-0858217

If you would like to get involved at the Parkway Playhouse as a volunteer, backstage technician, box office assistant, office assistant, groundskeeper, usher/performance host, performer, or building specialist call us at 828-682-4285 or send us an email to info@parkwayplayhouse.com

If you would like to buy tickets to  A YEAR WITH FROG AND TOAD (KIDS), BUGSY MALONE JR., or BEAUTIFUL STAR: AN APPALACHIAN NATIVITY please call us at 828-682-4285 or send us an email at info@parkwayplayhouse.com

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Andrew Gall

I made some lifelong friends when I was a teenager and had many adult role models who demonstrated how to live a good life. I had no idea how good I had it as a 10 year old kid. Later, I got a lot out of high school and college as I was more curious about the world and my place in it than my teenage social life (which you can deduce as being prettty unexciting). I started two successful theatre companies. I toured the nation. I endured crushing heartbreak when my Mom died shortly after I turned 27. I had a disasterous first marriage -that ended in deep acrimony; and I am raising my two children (from the first marriage)- that now live with me and are on their way to being pretty cool in their own right. I teach for a nationally ranked 2-year college. I run one of the most energetic theatre companies in the state of North Carolina, and just this year- I married the person I have been waiting for my whole life. we are looking forward to the arrival of our first child together this coming Spring.

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