C R O S S E N ’S
R Year in Review 2014 - 2015
Wow! So much has happened since last year’s annual report. After our new members, Patricia Beetschen and Pam Johnson, were elected, we thanked Pam Lloyd for her 10+ years of service as treasurer of our organization; she received a charm bracelet as a token of our appreciation. John Clendaniel was honored for his term as president and was presented with a gavel commemorating his outstanding leadership.
As the new president, I requested a retreat for all board members rather than holding a regular meeting. This took place in our rehearsal space at Reith Hall. Most notable was the hashing out of our mission statement.
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.
We received grants from Kent County Fund for the Arts for our musical ($2,000) and from the Delaware Division of Arts ($2,100) to help fund all four of our 2014-15 season’s shows. The Children’s Theatre, Inc. is most thankful for their support. (FYI) We received grant funds from these same organizations for our 2015-2016 season: ($1,700) from DE Division of the Arts and ($2,500) from The Kent County Fund for the Arts. Kudos to our grant writers!
Last year’s grant for our musical allowed us to rent two awesome backdrops and afforded us to make many costumes that matched The Wizard of Oz movie.
Our classic musical, The Wizard of Oz, sold-out our first school show performance and an additional after-noon school show had to be added to accommodate those on the waiting list. “Oz” also fared well at the public performances, garnering good “houses” for both productions.
It was at this opening, a new interim director, Sydney Artz, took over for The Schwartz Center for the Arts. Since she is from Lewes, she was new to The Children’s Theatre, Inc. She could not get over how well-behaved our young people were and what good actors and actresses they were.
Treasure Island, also, had a good run despite some bad weather. Also selected by the public for our 20th anniversary, this play had quite a few females costumed and made-up as pirates with their beards and bandanas. These young actresses sword fought along with the male actors and captured the excitement that made this classic come to life.
The tale of Charlotte’s Web, always a child’s as well as a parent’s favorite story, was performed to the delight of their audiences. A mix of seasoned participants and those new to TCT, Inc. worked their magic spell (or web) on stage. Again, we were blessed with good houses. Costumes were key to how the animal characters could and would move!
Our spring show was a twist on the classic, Beauty and the Beast. This one was entitled, Beauty IS a Beast. The director found a way to incorporate every student who auditioned for this production by adding some Old English Country Dancing and bell dancers (our tiniest girls) to her castle ballroom scene. This was her largest cast ever; she was able to please children, parents, and audience members. Quite a feat!
Beside grants, we reached out to sponsors this year, both in-kind and donations. Fortunately, we received many in time for 2014-IRS letters and statements, which many individuals, as well as companies appreciated. We voted to lump corporation donations and individuals together. Although several checks came in afterwards, we were able to display their names on three of our four programs and send them 2015 thank you notes. Our coffers were enhanced with donations in categories: $50 (BRONZE), $100 (SILVER), $150 (GOLD), $200 (PLATINUM), and $500 (DIAMOND).
As reported at our September, 2015 Annual Meeting, our financial picture remains strong according to our treasurer, Matthew Hartigan.
Dover Days found about 20 of our talented children performing two very different pieces for The Schwartz Center’s Open House. Four actresses played the roles in To Burn a Witch, a colonial drama, while another 15 danced to an original, choreographed piece that Tommy Price created titled: Dreams from Wishes. Our Disney-themed characters took to the street and posed for pictures with throngs of children.
Scholarships were presented to two deserving seniors for $500 each.
The scholarship committee recommended Teresa Pierce and Kevin Hartigan 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 in its second year.
Back by popular demand are our volunteer awards. Plaques for our Volunteer-of-the-Year honorees were presented to Jennifer Snyder, John Clendaniel, and Rebecca Evans as they were called to the stage at the Schwartz Center for recognition during our final production.
This year’s summer offerings amounted to two: a two-week Drama Camp for children 7-13 years old and a three-week Advanced Workshop for veteran actors ages 11-18. Sharon Crossen, Sydney Palmer, and Michele Xiques taught the young students excerpts from Grease, theatre games, dance, and vocals. Their culminating activity took place in our practice space on the final day of camp.
The Advanced Workshop found a baker’s dozen of talented young people willing to portray Shakespeare’s characters from the tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, and the comedy, Taming of the Shrew. Directors, Pam and Andy Lloyd met with the students four evenings a week for this classical training. Excerpts from the Bard’s repertoire were performed for parents and friends at the conclusion of this workshop. We were amazed that the students could learn such difficult lines and make their characters understandable to their audience.
Grease Camp’s Culminating Activity
Advanced Summer Workshop’s, Taming of the Shrew
Advanced Summer Workshop’s, Taming of the Shrew
There are some changes to the times for our 2015-2016 season’s offerings. This is indicative of the changes that are taking place at the Schwartz. Sunday matinees will all be at 3:00. The space is rented earlier on those days to a new church. Our first show has completely different times. Please note the times.
All seats are $10 beginning in 2016. SHREK: the MUSICAL’s school show has a $5.00 ticket price. Tickets may be purchased through the Schwartz Center for the Arts at 302-678-5152.
SHREK: the Musical will take place on Friday, November 20, with a school show at 9:30 A.M. and a public performance that evening at 7:00 P.M. There will also be a public performance matinee on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 2:00 P.M.
SYNOPSIS: Shrek brings all the beloved characters you know from the film to life on stage, and proves there's more to the story than meets the ears.
"Once upon a time, there was a little ogre named Shrek…" And thus begins the tale of an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking Donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. Throw in a short tempered bad guy, a cookie with an attitude, and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand...and his name is Shrek.
Hans Christian Anderson’s The Snow Queen will have public performances on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 7:00 P.M. and a Sunday, January 24, matinee at 3:00 P.M.
SYNOPSIS: The Snow Queen was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen. It is a morality tale depicting the ages-old battle between good and evil.
Two children, Gerda and Kai, grow up together and are best friends, until Kai runs afoul of evil in the form of the Snow Queen.
It is up to Gerda to try to save her friend with the help of a reindeer, Bae. The story should sound familiar, for it is the fairy tale upon which Disney's Frozen was based.
The classic, Alice in Wonderland, willbe the third offering with a public performance on Saturday, March 19, at 7:00 P.M. and a Sunday, March 20, 3:00 P.M. matinee.
SYNOPSIS: Alice plunges down the rabbit hole and becomes involved in many madcap adventures written by Lewis Carroll. She meets many characters including the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts and The Mad Hatter. Come enjoy a wild time with Alice and the characters she meets
The final show of the season will be Rumpelstiltskin Is My Name with public performances on Saturday, May 21, at 7:00 P.M. and a Sunday, May 22, matinee at 3:00 P.M.
SYNOPSIS: That nasty-tempered wizard Rumpelstiltskin is back in this engaging adaptation. Griselda, a four hundred year old witch, tells Rumpelstiltskin that in order to become the most powerful force in the kingdom, he must possess a child of royal birth. Thus, the wizard plots and schemes. He spreads the word that Laura, the miller’s daughter, can weave straw into gold. Since the kingdom is bankrupt, she’s whisked off to the palace and ordered to spin and spin. With Rumpelstiltskin’s help, she delivers the gold. She has a high fee to pay — her first born child. When Laura marries the prince and produces an heir to the throne, she has twenty-four hours to guess the wizard’s name or lose her child.
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.