2014 Auction & Gala, by Chris Bass

     This post is supposed to be about the upcoming Gala & Auction, but like all things SCT, it is about so much more than that.  Because in order to tell you why I think it’s so important for you to go to this event, I have to first tell you why I think Savannah Children’s Theatre is so important.  If you want the Cliff’s Notes (do people still read those?) just skip to the bottom for the Gala information, or, you know, click the link for tickets!  If you want the whole story, keep reading.

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2014 Auction & Gala, October 25th at 6:30pm, Knights of Columbus Hall in Downtown Savannah

     Still with me?  Great!

     Five years ago, my wife told me that there was a theatre in town putting on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  Knowing that my wife loved the music, I looked into it and bought tickets to a Saturday night performance at Savannah Children’s Theatre.  I was skeptical because I didn’t know a lot about the theatre and it had been a long time since I had seen a live community performance.  After their amazing performance, all of my skepticism disappeared.  See, I had always dreamed of performing on stage.  Watching that show, I heard a long forgotten voice speaking inside of me.  This cheesy voice of mine said “don’t be afraid to go after your dreams.”

     I enrolled our eight-year-old son in SCT’s after school classes, although theatre wasn’t really his thing.  I also started to listen to that inner voice once again and auditioned for the Winter Main Stage musical Cinderella.  Part of my intention in doing the show was to encourage my son to get up on stage and perform.  It didn’t work quite the way I thought it would.  But wouldn’t you know, our six-year-old daughter couldn’t wait to get up on stage!

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Molly & I in “Shrek”

The following summer, my daughter, Molly, participated in the SCT summer camp Disney’s Aladdin, Jr.  When  I watched her perform, I saw a light come on in her that I recognized in myself and I couldn’t wait until we could perform together.  At that moment, we became part of the SCT family, and when I say “family” I mean just that!  There are few places where you can feel the love and support that is felt at Savannah Children’s Theatre.  It’s an amazing place where I can watch my daughter shine and grow in ways I didn’t know were possible.  I promised myself that if I were to do another show with SCT that I would do a show with my daughter by my side.

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Molly and Abbey Kate in “Goodnight Moon”

That opportunity came when we were both cast in The Music Man, and sharing the stage with my daughter was just as amazing as I’d hoped.  Since seeing that first show at SCT, I have been part of five different productions and Molly has been in a whopping fourteen, including this weekend’s Goodnight Moon the Musical. (Shameless plug, I know. The whole show is great…but that Mouse is really something!)  With every show our family grows closer and that inner voice my daughter and I share grows louder and stronger.  We both have formed friendships and bonds that we will have forever because of this theatre.

     This year, I wanted to find a way to give back to SCT for all that they have given my family.  I decided to chair the 2014 Auction and Gala, which is SCT’s biggest fundraiser of the year.  I wasn’t sure what I was getting into, but with the help of our supportive volunteers and Board of Directors, I believe that this year’s event will be an exciting night for everyone involved.

     In just eleven days, we need everyone who loves Savannah Children’s Theatre to come out and support our Gala!  This year’s event will take place Saturday, October 25th, at the newly renovated Knights of Columbus Hall on 3 West Liberty Street,  Starting at 6:30pm, this elegant evening in Casablanca will feature music from Savannah’s own Trae Gurley, great food, entertainment, and the chance to bid on some amazing items like the ones listed below:

  • Puppy with 1 Year of Complimentary Veterinary Service
  • Oyster Roast for 100
  • Sail Boat Trips (Both Fishing and Non-Fishing Adventures)
  • Wine Tasting for 12
  • Dr. Pearl Cool Sculpt Treatment
  • Sunset Cruise for 8
  • Theatre Tickets
  • Local Restaurant & Business Gift Certificates
  • Much, Much More!

     If you can’t attend the event, please consider making a donation or becoming a member of our Annual Fund.  Your contribution to this amazing organization will not only help children to experience the joy of the performing arts, but it will help families to experience the joy of each other.  SCT is a place that excels in encouraging people to follow their dreams.  The thing is, SCT also helps to make them come true.

mollyandchris

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WHO WANTS A COOKIE?

     Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want a cookie? byrdcookies

     Especially if that cookie is one of Savannah’s famous Byrd Cookies, served up with some ice-cold milk and a side of glitter!

     This Saturday, following our first matinee of Goodnight Moon the Musical (yeah, you can click that link for tickets…we won’t mind), we’ll be hosting an intimate Cookie Party for our little guests!  After seeing the show, join the cast for a magical pajama party, which will include story time, crafts, face-painting, games and, of course, cookies!  Party guests will also have the chance to meet the characters of Goodnight Moon, learn a song from the show, and take plenty of silly photographs.

     Sponsored by our friends at the amazing Byrd Cookie Company, our cast and volunteers are really looking forward to sharing this Saturday with you.  So go ahead and reserve your tickets for one sweet afternoon!

cookieparty

What SCT Has Given Me, by Jason Rigsbee

     While many people “find” themselves in the theatre, growing up I avoided anything that required me to perform in front of others.  I was always comfortable speaking in class, playing sports and taking on leadership roles in school and college.  There was something, however, about performing as a character that I found uncomfortable.

     As fortune would have it, I met my wife while in college and you guessed it, she was a theatre person.  She had grown up her whole life performing and singing.  She was so passionate about her experiences and how it had shaped her life.  Little by little I learned more and more.  Fast forward and I now have three daughters, 9, 7 and 4.  It is no surprise, but each one loves to perform and as each has come of age, gravitated towards the Savannah Children’s Theatre.

     When my first daughter auditioned for Little Women, I really had no idea what to expect.  We showed up as a family and as we waited in the lobby, I looked around at all of the kids and families and was truly amazed.  There were groups who clearly had been in the theatre and knew each other and there were those that it was their first time; what amazed me most was the diversity within the group and how welcoming everyone was.  When we got the call she was in the show, the excitement on my daughter’s face told the whole story.  Life was about to change for my family.

     Now as the shows have continued and my second daughter will appear in her first show this year, I have learned a few things about myself and my family.  First, the theatre is a second family where anyone can find true friends and a support system beyond your hopes.  It does not matter your age, your ability or who you are, it only matters that you are family.  In a world where you worry what your child will face, this brings amazing comfort and joy as a parent.

     Secondly, even as a “non-theatre person” there is a place for you.  During the first show, I hung out in the lobby during rehearsals and I had the chance to meet some great people and form relationships, but also realized how many ways you can volunteer and interact to support the kids and theatre.  I now regularly work concession for shows, help clean up after shows when I can and the list goes on with all of the things you can do behind the scenes.  I have found incredible joy in doing little things that support such a great experience for kids.

     Lastly, my family has grown closer, crazier and happier through our two plus years at the theatre.  Everyone sings the songs leading up to the show (watch out the radio gets taken over by the musical CD for a show months at a time), looks forward to rehearsals, even if it is just to drop someone else off and celebrates the family member on stage.  The feeling is overwhelming when you have another child turn to you during the show and say her sister was so amazing, even if she said a line or not.

     So from a father’s perspective, I can only say my life would not be what is without the theatre (never thought I would say that!).  Before the theatre I had no idea what I was missing.  Now with the theatre, I cannot imagine a time where it will not be an integral part of my family’s life.  Maybe one day I will take the plunge (my family bugs me all the time), but for now concessions is cool for me!  On October 10th I’ll get to pop the popcorn and then take my seat with my wife and youngest daughter, and I’ll enjoy the smile that lights up her face as she watches her sisters perform in Goodnight Moon the Musical.  Surely, it will be a good night.