The Children’s Theatre, Inc.
President’s Annual Report
As my two-year tenure comes to an end, I can reflect back on a very easy and productive first year and a more challenging second year due to the closing of The Schwartz Center during the 2017-2018 season.
In an effort to locate other production venues, we were fortunate enough to procure our former site of Wells Theatre for two of our four plays. Actually, our other two plays opened at The Schwartz Center for the Arts. We were the only organization granted permission to use the site (outside of Wesley College and Delaware State University.) Our parent volunteers ran every aspect of the theatres, which consisted of the box office, lights, sound, ushers, concessions, and most of all, the massive effort of cleaning the theatres before and after each production. Once again, we were advised that The Children’s Theatre, Inc., left the sites better than we found them.
Another obstacle occurred during the winter rehearsal months. The water pipes froze and burst in Old Brick Church causing water damage and restricted use of the building. There is currently a contract bid for repair on the building; however, work has not yet begun. The huge volunteer effort to clean out OBC, to purge old and unusable items and to store costumes, props, sets etc., in a 40 ft. storage trailer behind OBC, went beyond just helping with a massive task. Sincere appreciation and thanks go out to any and all who donated their time to accomplish this task.
Recently, we met with the state who is about to begin another project concerning Reith Hall (our rehearsal space) for asbestos abatement of roofing shingles and a replacement roof. All of these improvements/repairs did cast a pall on our plans for our annual summer camp. However, we anticipate having summer camps in the future.
However, most of our goals were met including a revised, user-friendly website. We have had a lot of compliments on its design. Thanks to grants from The Delaware Division of the Arts and the Kent County Fund for the Arts, we had a great season, including a sold-out school show for our musical production! Despite some setbacks we have proven that The Children’s Theatre, Inc., is a valuable asset to our community. Once again, mission accomplished!
The mission of the Children’s Theatre, Inc. is to foster and encourage children in the development of and commitment to the highest standard of theatre through instruction, direction, and production of quality performances, whereby, its audiences may gain an appreciation for the arts.
Luckily, funding came by the way of our grants from Kent County Fund for the Arts and The Delaware Division of the Arts in order to afford our successful ANNIE production. John Clendaniel and his set building team created a two-story, Daddy Warbucks’ mansion set that rivaled any Broadway production, in my opinion! This was The Children’s Theatre’s most expensive and expansive set to date! Funding from The Delaware Division of the Arts was divided equally between our four shows of the season. We are most appreciative of their continued support.
The good news, is that our grant writers have done it, once again! The Children’s Theatre, Inc. received funding for the 2018-2019 season from these same state and county organizations. The Delaware Division of the Arts awarded us $2,600. Those adjudicating the grants were looking especially for collaboration with other non-profit organizations. We received a $2,500 grant from The Kent County Fund for the Arts. As stated earlier, we are grateful for the opportunities and support that we have received from these organizations.
Receiving the $2,500 grant check from the Kent County Fund for the Arts for this season’s musical are Patricia Beetschen, President, and Sharon Crossen, grant writer. Presenting the check at the awards luncheon are Joshua Twilley and Rosemary Twilley, founders of the KCFA. (Absent from the photo is John Clendaniel, grant writer.
Our productions are supported in part by The Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
Report of Visitor Count of State Owned Buildings
In reporting our Visitor Count to the state, I am pleased to announce that our numbers were high, even though we have had some “bumps in the road” of roofing and building repairs on OBC and Reith Hall! From July 2017 - July 2018, we have had approximately 9,721 visitors come through the doors of Reith Hall/Old Brick Church!
A Dickens Christmas Carol (November 2017)
We started out with an old familiar holiday season classic which was performed at The Schwartz Center for the Arts. This show had a cast of 40 students that, together, brought the lessons of reflection, change, kindness and joy to a welcoming and appreciative audience.
A Night at the Wax Museum (January 2018)
Our second show, A Night at the Wax Museum brought museum “statues” to life in a rollicking, fun and captivating show that was well received by the audience at our Wells Auditorium venue in Wesley College.
ANNIE: The Musical (March 2018)
Our third show, ANNIE: The Musical, was by far our most ambitious project to date. With a cast of 47 students and an amazing set design, Annie, not only gave valuable life lessons but enthralled the audience with melodically pleasing voices and brilliant portrayals of characters that delighted all that attended the shows. Our school show performance was sold out and gave many school children an opportunity to see live musical theatre on the beautiful Schwartz Center for the Arts stage.
Lady Pirates of the Caribbean (May 2018)
Our fourth and final show of the season was a new play for The Children’s Theatre, Inc. and the debut play for director, Martia McGinnis. This surprising and fun show was as much fun for the 32 actors to do as it was for the audience to see. Performed on stage at Wells Auditorium in Wesley College, this show captivated and captured the attention and delight of audience members right to the surprise ending!
Following our last show of the season, Lady Pirates of the Caribbean, The Children’s Theatre, Inc. was invited by the community coordinator of Bowers Beach, DE to perform at their Annual Pirate Festival on Memorial Day Weekend. This entire 10-minute musical skit was composed, choreographed and directed by senior, Anthony Quinene who accomplished this monumental feat within five days prior to the event!
The Children’s Theatre’s “Pirates” perform at the Bowers Beach Pirate Festival
Our coffers were enhanced with donations in categories: $50 (BRONZE), $100 (SILVER), $150 (GOLD), $200 (PLATINUM), and $500 and up (DIAMOND). We look forward to these and additional sponsors for the 2018-2019 Season.
James & Marina Rogin
Law Offices of Laura A. Yiengst, LLC
Edelman Spine & Orthopaedic Therapy
Joseph & Sharon Crossen
Kristi M. Galloway
The Law Offices of Baird, Mandalas & Brockstedt, LLC
John & Deborah DeMarie
Jiffy Lube Lewes
Ross & Joni Jahren
Matt & Marie Hartigan
Andrew & Pam Lloyd
Jenna & Kaitlyn Clendaniel
If you or your business would like to be a sponsor to our tax-exempt organization, please send your check to The Children’s Theatre, Inc. c/o Treasurer, P.O. Box 823, Dover, Delaware 19903. All donations are tax deductible. Your name will be printed on all programs for the 2018-2019 season. We thank you in advance for your generous support.
Scholarships were presented to two deserving high school seniors for $500 each. The scholarship committee recommended Kaitlyn Clendaniel and Mionya Mosley for this honor. Their applications, letters of reference, community service and commitment to The Children’s Theatre, Inc. made them perfect candidates for this award, which is now in its fifth year. Kaitlyn will be attending Delaware State University pursuing a Nursing degree, while Mionya (Mya) Mosley will begin her studies at Polytech working toward a career as a Medical Assistant. We wish them the best of luck as they begin their college studies, and we invite them to visit us during their semester breaks.
Kaitlyn Clendaniel Mionya (Mya) Mosley
Once again, The Children’s Theatre, Inc., presented volunteer awards. Plaques for our Volunteer-of-the-Year 2017-2018 honorees were presented to Dawn Mandalas, Apryl and Bill Peppard, Carol-Ann and Rolf Harding, and Glenn Mandalas as they were called to the stage at Wells Auditorium in Wesley College for recognition during intermission at our final production, Lady Pirates of the Caribbean. We thank them and all of our volunteers for giving of their time and talent. Please contact any board member to see how you may become a volunteer.
As reported at our August 29, 2018, Annual Meeting, our financial picture remains strong according to our treasurer, John Clendaniel.
This 2017 – 2018 year in review was prepared by Patricia Beetschen, and presented at the annual meeting on August 29, 2018.
The Children’s Theatre, Inc. organization is supported, in part, by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. The Division promotes Delaware arts events on www.DelawareScene.com.
Funding in part also provided by The Kent County Fund for the Arts.