Category Archives: fundraising

Top 10 Best Moments of DreamWrights 2016

As we countdown the days to 2017, our twentieth year, we take a moment to relish our accomplishments and great memories from 2016.

dreamwrights-mark-color_full-descriptortagline-600-x-528

10. Our transition from a Youth and Family Theatre to a Center for Community Arts

In March we began to transition our identity from a Youth and Family Theatre to a Center Community Arts. Building characters for life became our mantra while putting growth center stage was identified as the inspiration behind our capital campaign. As a Center for Community Arts, a new Innovative Programming Committee was formed and wasted no time sponsoring DreamWrights’ first Open Mic Night. Budding comedians, talented musicians, and a friendly faced magician graced the stage of our relaxed and casual space. We had so much fun we are planning to do it again soon!

20161027-dreamfrights-86
Zombies in the elevator at DreamFrights

9. New camp and event programming

This year, DreamWrights offered a wider array of art and performance based camps as well as a few new events. Our first ever DreamFrights Haunted House was a huge success! With different fright levels, we were able to entertain young ones up through older kids and adults who enjoy the thrill of the scare. We hosted a tea parties during the runs of The Secret Garden and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit and we had cookies, cocoa, and caroling with Santa, Dorothy, and the Wizard in Oz earlier this month. Flippin’ Broadway, a cabaret of Broadway show tunes with a fun twist, was a crowd pleaser in February.

20160805-101-dalmatians-camp-50

As for summer camps, this year we offered 24 different exciting and creative camps. These included three Disney performance camps, 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, and Aladdin. We also held art camps taught by local artists Rita Whitney and Karen Paust, a digital photography camp taught by Randy Flaum of White Rose Community TV, and a poetry class taught by York’s poet laureate, Christine Lincoln. We are planning equally innovative, clever, and exciting camps and classes again this coming summer. Spread the word and tell your friends!

8. Our beautifully designed sets

20160212-the-secret-garden-3-edited-cropped
The Secret Garden

This year, DreamWrights raised the bar with our set design by employing the talents of some amazing designers and builders. Fifteen year old first time set designer, Jacob Schlenker, gave a beautiful and sassy makeover to the set of Legally Blonde. The first ever DreamWrights raked (sloped) stage was designed by Billy Ferrell for The Adventures of Peter RabbitAllen Brenner brought us a beautiful two story set staged in alley configuration with the audience on two sides for The Secret Garden. Most recently, the illustrious Ray Olewiler designed a magical set that was over the rainbow.

7. The enthusiasm and energy that Guest Directors bring

20161207-dw-directors-9
Guest Directors Andrea Unger and Chris Quigley

This year, DreamWrights benefited from the expertise of five guest directors: Andrea Unger (Our Miss Brooks and The Adventures of Peter Rabbit), Nic Ecker (Legally Blonde), Michelle Denise Norton (As You Like It), Kirk Wisler (The Beverly Hillbillies), and Jaci Keagy (The Wizard of Oz). In anticipation of the upcoming season, where we will be using six guest directors and three guest assistant directors, a formalized guest director process was introduced. The first introduction and kickoff meeting for guest directors was held in early December. Please join us in welcoming Guest Directors Rodd Robertson (directing Pride and Prejudice), Andrea Unger (Peter Pan and Mary), Michelle Denise Norton (The Taming of the Shrew), Timothy Storey (The Mousetrap), Chris Quigley (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), and Jaci Keagy (It’s a Wonderful Life) as well as Guest Assistant Directors Amanda Nowell, Kevin Alvarnaz, and Andrea Unger. We hope that our improved processes for these guest directors will make for an even better experience for our crews, casts, and audiences!

6. Our community celebration to kick off our capital campaign

dwphotobooth_83

On June 30, to kick off the public phase of our capital campaign, we threw open wide our doors and invited the local community to meet our refreshed Center for Community Arts. Nearly 200 friendly faces joined us in the celebration. This exciting event featured performers and artists that included: YWCA’s Temple Guard Drill Team, Devix, Kingsfoil, Weary Arts Group, First Capital Drumline, Illstyle & Peace presented by Positive Energy Arts Foundation, and DreamWrights’ own Theatre Under the Trees and StAGEs troupes.

 

5. Our StAGEs program winning a Nonprofit Innovation Award

20161219-dw-stages-29

In February, DreamWrights was awarded a Nonprofit Innovation Award in the category of collaboration with StARTSomething by the Central Penn Business Journal for our work with StAGES, our creative improv class for folks 55 and older. StAGEs encourage active participation in the performing arts. Thanks to additional support from the Cultural Alliance Creative Impact Award, this year our StAGEs troupe has made new friends, new memories, and has had tons of laughs while enjoying the benefits of “creative aging.”

4. A successful internal transition

2016-hilary-adams-color

This year we honored the career of founding member, Diane Crews, and we welcomed Hilary Adams, our new Director of Artistic Programming. Diane’s DreamWrights career was memorialized in the naming of our black box theatre. Hilary has hit the ground running as she is currently finalizing the crews and casts of her first DreamWrights production, Babe, the Sheep-Pig.

3. Being on TV and performing to sold out crowds

20161201-dw-wizard-fox-43-40

We ended the year with a bang as we enjoyed our 4 minutes of fame on Fox 43‘s morning show on December 1. It was a great way to kick off our run of The Wizard of Oz as nearly every show was sold out. Our hearts, minds, and confidence was renewed as we remember that there’s no place like home – or your second home – as many of you call this place known as DreamWrights.

2. Community support of our capital campaign

20160922-dw-hats-at-the-hound-13
Executive Director, Ann Davis, with Mayor Kim Bracey and York City Solicitor and DW Board Member, Jason Sabol at Hats at the Hound fundraiser event

What began as a dream took a foothold in reality this year with the funds we have raised towards our capital campaign. We brought our message to the broader community through fundraising events like Hats at the Hound. Although we have not met our goal of $2.5 million dollars, we are standing strong at $1.8 million with phased construction plans and approvals from the appropriate local municipalities to begin moving forward with our construction this spring. We are excited for the opportunities the future holds with the new studio space, upgraded building enhancements, and expanded programming. We have received some amazing support from businesses and individuals alike. We thank you for your support. If you have not done so already, we graciously ask you to consider helping us get closer to our goal.

1. You walking through our doors

20161217-dw-ozians2-6-edited-cropped

Your involvement is what makes DreamWrights the amazing community it is. People of all ages, from all backgrounds and experiences are welcome to safely explore the arts, try new things, and be part of something bigger than themselves. DreamWrights builds characters for life. We look forward to working together with you again in the coming year to create our best, brightest, and biggest year yet!

Happy New Year from DreamWrights!

5 Great Stocking Stuffers You Can Only Find at DreamWrights

20161202-dw-concessions-4-cropped

Gift giving for a loved one? A theatre kid? Someone who loves the arts? This holiday season, slip something unique and clever into their stocking. Here are the best of what you can only find at DreamWrights this holiday.

 

 

 

20161202-dw-concessions-18

1. Wizard of Oz Ornaments – Whether you were in the show or watched it in the theatre or on TV, you will love to glitz up your Christmas tree with these sweet ornaments. Choose from the ruby slipper ($1.50 each) or one of the ball ornaments representing Dorothy, Tinman, Lion, and Scarecrow ($4 each). Heck,why not get a set?!

 

20161202-dw-concessions-8

2. Flying Monkey – Who doesn’t need a Flying Monkey in their stuffed animal collection? These clever critters are hand crafted and are cute enough to put a smile on anyone’s face!  ($12 each)

 

 

20161202-dw-concessions-20

3. Make a donation to DreamWrights in someone’s honor. Even better, do it as part of our current Yellow Brick Road Fundraiser (suggested amount $30), and leave your mark behind on our Yellow Brick wall!

 

 

20161202-dw-concessions-10

4. Dorothy doll – These adorable gal pals are handmade with love. Add one to your Oz lover’s collection. And while you’re at it, pick up a friend for Dorothy: Toto, Tinman, Lion, Scarecrow, Glinda, a Tree, or a Munchkin or two. (prices range $12 – $20)

 

5. A DreamWrights Membership – It’s only $15 and lasts a year. Membership includes 10% off classes and camps. Punch your card with every show you see and your 7th is free! And, you’ll get a fabulous DreamWrights newsletter every quarter!

snowballs

If these goodies don’t appeal to you, DreamWrights has an array of other Oz and winter themed gifts: stuffed snowballs, magnets, signs, blocks, ornaments, Jitterbugs, and more!

Sales are open before, during, and after performances of The Wizard of Oz, while supplies last.

Choose Your Fright Level at DreamFrights Haunted House

dreamfrights-color

Who doesn’t love a spooky story on a cool autumn night, with leaves blowing, and pumpkins grinning? This year, DreamWrights Center for Community Arts will be telling a theatrically haunted house story: DreamFrights! Designed by Ray Olewiler, this 350 foot haunted house maze will employ many theatrical effects to appeal to the senses. DreamFrights design volunteer and York City Solicitor, Jason Sabol explains, “You don’t find many haunted houses produced by a theater, so our technical ability to use lights, sounds, sets, and actors to create a frightening and fun – or mostly fun for the younger kids – walkthrough is at a higher level than your everyday local haunted house production. Not only that, the location itself is perfect! DreamWrights is going to be transformed into a creepy old theater and it certainly doesn’t hurt that we already have a resident ghost – or two!”

Concerned about it being too scary? Don’t be! DreamFrights will be performing at different levels of fright, so this is an event that the whole family can enjoy. DreamFrights starts off with the scare level ramped up the eve of Friday, October 26 from 7:00 – 9:00pm. So, the suggested age for that evening is 13+. But on Saturday, October 27 from 2:00 – 4:00pm DreamFrights will have a walkthrough designed for young children under age 7 where it will be more entertaining and humorous than scary. From 4:30 – 6:30pm, DreamFrights will crank the scares up a bit for kids between the ages of 7 and 12 (suggested). Then DreamFrights will go all out with frights from 7:00 – 9:00pm for the teenage and adult crowd!

Sabol says, “We wanted kids of all ages to be able to enjoy one of the best Halloween traditions, but at the same time, we wanted to make sure that it was scary enough for older kids to enjoy it. That’s how we came up the three levels of terror for the different age groups. We can make the haunted house as scary or mild as we want. So for older kids, we can amp up the terror – and blood – while the little ones still get a fun maze walkthrough. It really is the best of both worlds.”

DreamFrights Haunted House Fundraiser will begin spooking people on Friday, October 28 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the menacing level. Younger kids may prefer the mild fright level on Saturday, October 29 from 2:00 – 4:00pm. Medium frightfulness can be found from 4:30 – 6:30pm followed by menacing 7:00 – 9:00pm. Cost is $10.00 per person. Tickets are good for any of the 4 open house times and are available online through October 27 at 4pm or at the door. Proceeds will benefit DreamWrights. Suggested fright guidelines: Mild – under age 7, Medium – 12 and under, Menacing – 13 and up.

Local Celebrities Pass Hats and Pour Sips for DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign

On Thursday, September 22 from 5pm – 7pm, local celebrities Mayor Kim Bracey and DreamWrights Executive Director, Ann Davis will be serving up drinks and fun at the Holy Hound Taproom. Proceeds will benefit the DreamWrights Capital Campaign.

Ann Davis, Executive Director sports a hat
Ann Davis, Executive Director sports a hat

As its six month capital campaign wraps up, DreamWrights hopes to raise some more cash and community awareness. Mayor Bracey whole-heartedly supports the effort.  “DreamWrights has been an important member of the York community for twenty years. They have done a wonderful job of educating kids through theater, and I’m excited that the Capital Campaign will allow them to expand their reach not only to more children and families, but also to more diverse groups that are underserved by the Arts in York currently, like millennials and retirees, and the African-American and Hispanic communities.”

Ann Davis and the DreamWrights community are anxious for the Center for Community Arts to take its next step. Davis explains, “The work made possible by this campaign will complement, not replace the capital improvements made more than ten years ago. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach and range of our programming, and to revitalize our historic building.”

20160907-dreamwrights-ann-davis-hats-at-holy-hound-18

Mayor Bracey says that DreamWrights, as well as many other businesses in the city, is in the midst of a renaissance. “Empty storefronts have been replaced by thriving boutique shops and restaurants, and chain link fences around construction sites have become the norm, rather than the exception. The city is rebuilding and retooling. But we need more than just the downtown to thrive. And DreamWrights has the potential to be the sort of anchor for the Avenues and West End neighborhoods that the Strand Capital is for the downtown. DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign allows it to truly become a center for community arts, and a sense of ‘community’ leads to cleaner and safer streets, a better education for our children, and economic development.”

To make the celebrity happy hour more fun, costume hats will be available for donors to try-on and model.  Photos are encouraged to be posted to social media and tagged with #DWHats to raise awareness and show community support. The DreamWrights Hats at the Hound event will be held on Thursday, September 22 from 5pm – 7pm at the Holy Hound Taproom in downtown, York, PA.

About DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign

On July 1, DreamWrights kicked off the public phase of its $2.5 million Capital Campaign. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach of its special programs and provide accessibility to all. The capital project will achieve two strategic goals: to grow programs and audience and to revitalize our landmark, historic building. Community support is essential in helping DreamWrights reach its $2.5 million goal.

The Art of the Theatrical Haunted House

dreamfrights-color

This fall at DreamWrights, hands-on classes will teach a variety of spooky theatre elements and techniques, including scene design, costume design, and special effects. Students will create the actual components for the first ever “DreamFrights” Haunted House held October 28 and 29. Classes are also offered for haunted makeup and freaky food fare.

In the scene design workshop, participants will create scary scenes through faux painting, set decorating, props creation, and special wall treatments. Costume design workshop participants will craft textile-based scene decorations as well as creepy costumes like hooded capes, goblins, ghosts and other clever creatures. For those interested in special effects, participants will construct sound and lighting cues for each scene and pathway and will utilize spooky background noises like a stormy night, haunted woods, bats, spiders and snakes.  In the Haunted Makeup class, learn to turn great looking people into creepy ghosts, ghouls, skeletons and zombies. The Freaky Food Fare workshop will explore ideas and creativity for making autumn and Halloween inspired food.

For the younger crowd, the Mini Musical: How to be a Pirate will bring out your inner scallywag through story and song. This workshop will culminate with a musical performance at the DreamFrights Haunted House on Saturday, October 29 at 2:30 pm.

All workshops run four Saturday mornings: October 1, 8, 15 and 22 from 9:00am-12:00pm and one Wednesday evening, October 26 6:00pm-8:00pm (with the exception of the Mini Musical). All workshops culminate with the DreamFrights Haunted House on October 28 and 29 where students will receive free admittance to the DreamFrights haunted house. More information can be found at http://www.dreamwrights.org/education/fall-2016-classes.

About DreamFrights Haunted House

On October 28th and 29th DreamWrights opens the doors of DreamFrights – its first ever Haunted House fundraiser. A team of creative minds are stewing up a theatrically frightful event that has modified fright factor levels from mild to menacing. Tickets are $10 per person and are available online at http://www.dreamwrights.org/fund-raising-event/special-events through October 27th at 4pm or at the door. Drop in any time Friday, Oct. 28th 7:00-9:00 pm (Menacing) or Saturday, Oct. 29 2:00-4:00 pm (Mild), 4:30-6:30 pm (Medium), 7:00-9:00 pm (Menacing). Suggested fear level guidelines: Mild – under age 7, Medium – 12 and under, Menacing – 13 and up.

DreamWrights Benefits from Two Unsuspecting Role Models

When they learned about DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign, it was eleven year old Maddie Trimmer’s and fourteen year old Sophie Nicholson’s natural inclination to jump right in to help in any way they could. Maddie remembers her parents discussing the campaign, “I heard them talking about how they were going to donate some money and I said, ‘Well, can I donate some money too?’” So Maddie began doing odd jobs around her mother’s office for some extra cash.

20160725 DW Donors Nicholson Trimmer

Mom Gina Trimmer explains, “DreamWrights is so near and dear to her heart. That it is what comes first. It’s natural for her. When we talked about doing the capital campaign, she said, ‘Well what can I do?!’ Our mouths dropped and it touched us to know that she wanted to give to something. To help.”

Sophie is no stranger to philanthropy. This will be the fifth summer of hosting her lemonade stand to raise money for the non-profits that she believes in. But this recent contribution to the capital campaign was in addition to her annual lemonade stand donation. To earn the extra cash, she picked up some jobs like cat sitting and washing the dog. When she earns money, she divides her earnings into save, spend, and donate. She says she saves up the donate money until she decides what she wants to do with it. “And then we were going to the kickoff event,” she says. She knew the timing was right.

“When I gave money to DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign it made me feel good. I felt like I was helping because DreamWrights is kind of like my second home. It felt exciting for me that we’re getting to contribute to what’s going to happen [with the construction] and how cool that’s going to make DreamWrights with the re-do-al,” Sophie says with a giggle, knowing that she just made up her own word, just like Director Diane.

Maddie interjects, “I hope this place gets more people and opens up a lot more and that people fall in love with it like we did. It is a place that’s really special to a lot of people because you can be yourself and it doesn’t really matter. You don’t get judged. I felt good inside [to give] because it is a place that I really love.”

20160725 Sophie Maddie Giving Girls (33)

“I hope this campaign will help DreamWrights get more recognized,” Sophie anticipates. “This is so big. There were a lot of people who don’t come to DreamWrights who came to that kickoff event. I really hope that maybe they’ll be like, ‘Oh! This is a really cool place and I can help make it better.’ I hope more people will be drawn to the welcoming and loving family of DreamWrights.”

When it is pointed out to the girls that they are role models for not only other kids, but also adults and community members who might not realize the importance of supporting non-profits that they believe in, both girls were dumbfounded. They never thought of themselves as role models. After a few minutes of thinking about it, Sophie humbly comments, “I’ve given before but I never thought about the fact that I could influence someone else to do something of the same.” Maddie modestly agrees, “I didn’t realize that, wow, I might be a role model for some total stranger.”

Although these girls were not the largest donors, they understand that every dollar counts. Sophie nails it, “It doesn’t matter whether it is a dollar or a thousand. You are making a difference. Every step is a closer step to the goal. Even a dollar – that’s stepping closer to where DreamWrights wants to be. It doesn’t matter what you give.” She’s absolutely right. Every amount helps and, even better, there is something about giving that makes you feel good. It makes you feel like you’re part of a larger community working towards a common goal.

Maddie adds, “You are contributing to a great place that could change someone’s life any day. You could be a role model too. It doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are. Whatever you are… it’s just… you count!”

About DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign
On July 1, DreamWrights kicked off the public phase of its $2.5 million Capital Campaign. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach of its special programs and provide accessibility to all. The capital project will achieve two strategic goals: to grow programs and audience and to revitalize our landmark, historic building. Community support is essential in helping DreamWrights reach its $2.5 million goal.

DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign Opens the Curtain Wider

Karin Swartz

Twenty something Karin Swartz is struggling to find theatre arts offerings in the York area for her age group. She says that local productions that appeal to her are few and far between. “I would love to see more offerings, especially straight plays and productions that push boundaries, try new concepts and are well done. I think this could include both traveling shows as well as local productions.”

Karin is a young professional who spent a number of her formative years at DreamWrights. Growing up, she participated in several production camps, served as a stage manager, and ran light and sound boards. Later, Karin did the lighting design for the DreamWrights production of MASH.

Karin’s DreamWrights experience had a big enough impact on her that she went on to pursue it after high school. She majored in theatre at Ursinus College with a focus on technical theatre, stage management, production design and lighting design. “If it were not for that first production camp at DreamWrights where I learned that there was a place in theater for the hyper-organized, coordinator-of-all-those-in-the-vicinity planner that I am, I may not have pursued it at all.”

Despite the fact that she had not been active at DreamWrights for many years, when Executive Director Ann Davis asked her to be a part of the fundraising committee for DreamWrights’ $2.5 million capital campaign, she didn’t hesitate to jump in. “I may not have been the target audience for the programming of DreamWrights Youth and Family Theater but I still recognized its value to younger generations and families. As I learned about the new mission of DreamWrights Center for Community Arts, I became even more excited knowing that there is a place for the programming I grew up with as well as a multitude of other opportunities for the live arts.”

Once Karin was on board to help with the campaign, DreamWrights learned of her interest in directing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare… Abridged. With less than a month’s notice, Karin agreed to direct an abbreviated version of the show at DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign Kickoff Event. Karin explains. “Complete Works is a hilarious show and one that anyone who has picked up, seen or experienced Shakespeare will enjoy. The true fans of the Bard will love all the details but a novice fan will appreciate the larger references to his most popular work. I wanted to stage this show, or part of it, because I miss theatre and I think this is an easy to digest piece of theatre that is new to many of the audience members that will see it.”

Complete Works

On June 30, Director Swartz, dressed in black behind the curtain, along with Bryan Caine, Mike Pritchard and Patrick Casey performed an abbreviated version of Complete Works to an eager audience at DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign Kickoff Event. The performance was a hit! Along with acts like Kingsfoil, Illstyle & Peace, and Oxymorons, DreamWrights introduced its potential to young professionals, solidifying its place in the York community as a center for performance arts.

Karin sums it up, “I’m really excited about the future of DreamWrights as a Center for Community Arts! There is so much potential for great programming, education and productions!”

The possibilities the capital campaign will provide for DreamWrights are indeed exciting. Stay tuned!

About Karin Swartz: President of York Young Professionals, Karin works at York Country Day School as the Director of Communications. She is thrilled about YCDS’ anticipated new performing arts center scheduled to open later this summer.

About DreamWrights’ Capital Campaign: On July 1, DreamWrights kicked off the public phase of its $2.5 million Capital Campaign. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach of its special programs and provide accessibility to all. The capital project will achieve two strategic goals: to grow programs and audience and to revitalize our landmark, historic building.

Community support like Karin’s is essential in helping DreamWrights reach its $2.5 million goal.

DreamWrights Launches $2.5 Million Capital Campaign to Update Building and Programming

On July 1, DreamWrights Center for Community Arts kicks off the public phase of its $2.5 million Capital Campaign. The Campaign effort is headed up by J. T. Hand, COO at The York Water Company, and Suzanne McConkey, Vice President of Human Resources at Glatfelter Insurance. Together with Executive Director, Ann Davis, and a handful of Ambassadors and Solicitors, DreamWrights will hit the ground running on July 1, one day following a community centered kickoff event.

20160614 DreamWrights McConkey and Hand
Suzanne McConkey (left) and JT Hand (right), DreamWrights Capital Campaign Co-Chairs

The work made possible by this campaign will complement, not replace the capital improvements made more than ten years ago. This campaign will allow DreamWrights to make the investments necessary to increase the reach of its special programs and programming, and provide accessibility to all. The capital project will achieve two strategic goals:
Grow Programs and Audience – DreamWrights will expand and diversify its programming, participants, and stakeholders, thereby meeting its mission more fully. The renovations will enable DreamWrights to create better spaces for experimentation, participation, and learning throughout the building.
Revitalize a Landmark Historic Building – The investments made possible by this campaign will ensure that the physical building is fully up to code, activated, and protected.

Both Hand and McConkey have a unique perspective on the DreamWrights organization and the value it holds in the York community. Hand has seen first-hand the amazing impact DreamWrights has on young people when his own children participated in theatre productions. Hand expresses, “We are blessed to live, work and serve in a community that has supported us, encouraged us, and embraced performing arts in our historic theatre. For nearly twenty years, DreamWrights’ founders, staff, volunteers, and the entire DreamWrights family, have espoused a culture of inclusion and accessibility. At DreamWrights, we grow characters for life.”

Facade (600 x 399)

McConkey was not introduced to the organization through her kids as Hand and most other community members were, so she does not share the same connection to the program side. However, she is a strong supporter and sees DreamWrights as a center for community education. “Providing this opportunity for people to grow and learn about themselves, other people, and life skills is really impressive to me. The fact that adults and children are learning together and supporting each other is just phenomenal. It’s such a unique opportunity. I’ve always been drawn to the educational piece of it, the life skills the kids and even adults are learning, the respect for each other, and that they are given this opportunity to put themselves out there. So what if they might mess up or might not quite get there? There are no repercussions. It is risk-free, safe and comfortable.”

With pride in its past and passion and excitement for its future, DreamWrights is pursuing this Capital Campaign as the central, structural element of a multi-year and multi-faceted transition. DreamWrights is seeking to cultivate the community’s next generation of donors and leaders, while building relationships and partnerships that will sustain the Center for Community Arts. Hand believes, “Through this campaign we have an opportunity to open wide our doors, to draw back the curtains, and offer more diverse and expansive programming.”

McConkey agrees, “DreamWrights offers the opportunity for people of all ages to test their creative juices and energy in a very safe and comfortable place. DreamWrights brings together people who have different life experiences. It gives kids the opportunity to do something other than sports and electronics and meet kids outside of their classroom and school district. It gets adults connecting with people outside of their typical circle. That’s why it is important to me. The Capital Campaign will allow us to do more of that.”

Flippin’ Fun

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (74)
Rodd Robertson and Bea Gilbert with John Masa

On March 5, DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre is flipping things around in the name of fun and fundraising. We are hosting a special event called Flippin’ Broadway which is a cabaret of Broadway show tunes with a fun twist.  Rodd Robertson, DreamWrights actor and Guest Director, came up with the idea. Robertson explains, “A few years ago, another actor and I were discussing songs we would never get to sing in a traditional Broadway show.  We were having a great time imagining what it would be like to perform songs as those characters and suddenly we looked at each other and asked why we couldn’t stage a show where we could perform those songs?!” And the idea for Flippin’ Broadway was born.

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (12)
Rebecca Wolf with Michael Frock

Although, Flippin’ Broadway wasn’t originally conceived as a benefit show, it soon took on that life.  Robertson says the idea grew as they talked to friends and other cast mates about the idea.  Robertson reports, “We’re thrilled to be doing this for DreamWrights because we admire their mission statement and that they abide by it.  It’s a real testament to the theatre that we wanted to have our premiere there.  We’re doing good for a great place!”

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (144)
Patty Price with Michael Frock

With 18 cast members performing 27 songs, the evening promises to be full of entertainment and surprises. Robertson agrees, “If the scores of people who auditioned for it and the word of mouth buzz is any indication, we should have a really nice crowd; hopefully a sell-out.”  Robertson quickly adds two more reasons to attend the event: “to support this community theatre treasure and to imagine what different Broadway musicals might be like if they were ‘flipped’!”

He’s not kidding when he describes it as “flipped”! The concept of Flippin’ Broadway is for Broadway songs to be performed in a non-traditional way.  For example, “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserable is sung by a middle-to-older-aged white man, Jean Val Jean, but not in the Flippin’ Broadway version.  Robertson dishes, “In our version, a young teenage girl is singing the song.  So we’ve switched it up with some funny results and some thought provoking changes.”

20160216 Flippin Broadway promo (88)
Hannah Kuhn and Caitie Kieffer with Missy Kiefer

But that’s not the only act that will stand out. The evening will feature talented adults as well as kids.  Robertson boasts, “We have a mother with her two teenagers in the show.  I think this exemplifies the opportunities that DreamWrights provides families in the mid-state region.  How great is it that so much talent lies in one family!  Just wait until you hear them! You won’t be disappointed!”

Flippin’ Broadway will be held at DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre on March 5,, 2016 from 7 – 10pm. Tickets are $15 and are available online at www.dreamwrights.org or by calling 717-848-8623. There will be an extended intermission offering elegant desserts for purchase. Proceeds will benefit DreamWrights Youth and Family Theatre.

The Power of Giving

York County Cares

Here’s a secret I’ve learned over time – when I support the causes that I believe in by making a donation (no matter the size of that gift), I feel the strength of my influence as I help to make a difference in my community and in the world. That’s powerful in these uncertain times when it feels as if so many things are out of our control. Sure, I’d love to be able to write those really big checks, but the reality is – a gift is a gift no matter how small – and those small ones can still make a difference.  Besides, giving can be contagious, it will make you feel good, and those small gifts can add up quite quickly.

#GivingTuesdayYork is a great example of community members pulling together on one day and making a bigger statement by supporting the nonprofits they believe in. This day is about giving unselfishly and follows all of those annual days of spending money on ourselves and others – Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday.

coffee cup giving

So today, whether you choose to contribute the loose change in your pocket, forgo your morning coffee, or you are able to make a big fat donation – you are joining millions of others in a powerful way and making a difference that truly counts.

DreamWrights would be pleased to benefit from any gift you are willing and able to give. Tax deductible donations may be made online here or by mailing your contribution to DreamWrights at 100 Carlisle Avenue, York, PA 17401. We thank you for your generosity. A gift is a gift no matter how small.

Ann Davis
Executive Director
DreamWrights Youth & Family Theatre