Dear Friend of Robinson Drama and Rambunctious Theatre Company,
At the start of this school year I asked myself: Why do we make theatre? Are the stories we tell as exciting and vibrant for the student technicians and performers as they are for our audience members? Are there ample opportunities for students to get involved and grow as artists and citizens in our community? Is everyone welcome and invited to share and participate in the experience?
In our last season, we produced more shows and events than any school in Fairfax County; with 4 mainstages, 2 one acts, 3 Theatre for Young Audience shows, playwriting festivals, and show cases. There were a total of 33 performances and almost 9,000 tickets sold. Last year students spent over 700 hours after school and on weekends creating our productions and there were close to 500 opportunities for student involvement.
We were involved in our community. We had the first Autism and Sensory friendly performance in Northern Virginia. We donated the proceeds of a performance to help a child in our community afford a life-changing service dog. Our high school drama students were active mentors and leaders in our middle school productions, and created shows and performances for our resident pre-school students while exploring international theatre traditions.
We are excited to be performing internationally this summer. Our theatre department has been nominated and selected to perform in the largest arts festival in the world, the Edinburgh Fringe. This summer will be a transformational experience for our student artist ambassadors, who will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with theatre artists and performers from all over the world, representing our school, community, state, and country.
It might surprise you to learn that we do not receive funding. Thus far, everything we are able to accomplish is done through hard work, dedication, and ticket sales. Revenue from ticket sales are returned to our student participants in the form of future productions, workshops, and other educational opportunities.
Now, as I look at our upcoming season, and see a season of magic and adventure, of journeys and discovery, the trials of finding yourself and of never growing up, with more shows and opportunities for students to shine, I am invigorated that the work that we do plays a vital role in providing enriching, transformational and educational niche for our students and our community. Which is why we need your help- our theatre’s infrastructure is in dire need.
We need to rent lights for every performance in order to simply see the actors on stage. The lights we need are too expensive to purchase outright ($16,000), and we have not been able to make enough of a profit on our productions. Our wireless microphones will be rendered useless by the end of this year because cell phone companies have purchased the bandwidth from the FCC. The cost to replace them all is upwards of $20,000.
These are the big hurdles we are facing, but there are many smaller ones along the way:
- Close to $1,000 in lumber and hardware to build sturdy and functional sets
- 30 gallons of paint for the floor, set, and also to repaint the stage after the production
- Costume rentals and purchases, as well as laundry and dry cleaning costs post-production
- Production Rights: we must pay royalties to the playwrights and composers in order to legally produce a play. Royalties paid last year were between $800 to $2,000 per performance; not including script and music score rentals.
Your tax deductible sponsorship will make an enormous impact on our drama department and for our students.
Thank you so much for your consideration. Please see the above show information and instructions for how you can make a profound difference in our department and for our students.
Megan Thrift & Amy Hard