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Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre’s Fundraising Drive to Bring Mamma Mia! to Pleasanton

October 17, 2018

5983d4c9d95b9DUBLIN, CA–We’ve shared multiple stories about the Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre‘s productions over the years, and profiled co-founder, actor and Dublin Unified School District TVTIP instructional coach Joy Sherratt. The good news – PCRT’s next production is the joyous and ever-popular musical Mamma Mia!, lined up to run January 26 – February 10, 2019 at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton.

The ask for community help – PCRT needs to raise $10,000 to cover pre-production costs due to a change in their relationship with the City of Pleasanton (more on the upcoming production, and the need for funding, in our latest interview with PCRT co-founder Joy Sherratt). How are theatre companies like PCRT funded?

Joy Sherratt - Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre

Joy Sherratt

Joy Sherratt: “For the last nine years we’ve been producing three shows per season at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton. We operated under a series of different contracts throughout that nine years with the City of Pleasanton that covered our upfront production costs, with the City receiving all of the ticket revenue. We still had to fundraise to cover operational expenses such as insurance, our website, our payroll, things like that. The arrangement with the City, and generous donations from our patrons, enabled us to produce excellent theatre.

“This past year the City of Pleasanton re-negotiation resulted in a rental agreement for the space, which means we have to fund all of our production and operational costs, but will be receiving ticket revenue. The challenge, as a non-profit with limited reserves, is funding the pre-production costs while still delivering high quality theatre. There is a perception that the ticket price covers all costs, but in reality ticket revenue alone only covers 70% of production costs (not including operational costs), and that’s assuming 80% of tickets are sold for each performance.

“The generosity of theatergoers and donors combined are what what makes theatre possible. As members of the community we firmly believe that the Pleasanton and the entire Tri Valley deserves high quality theater. We’ve enjoyed about our relationship with the City of Pleasanton and the intimacy of the Firehouse Arts Center. We are very fortunate in being able to hire the top directors, choreographers, performers and musicians in the Bay Area to reinvent amazing Broadway productions for this space.” (A GoFundMe campaign has been setup to support PCRT) Share a bit about the Mamma Mia! production and what the show means to you.

Sherratt : “I had the opportunity to be in the production about a year and a half ago on a very large stage. I’m excited for us to be able to produce the show in a smaller space because when you come down to it, it’s really a story about a mom and a daughter, and there is a real intimacy to their relationship that gets lost on a larger stage. I think people will be surprised when they see what the Firehouse stage brings to the journey of the mother-daughter relationship.” Are you reprising your role of Donna?

Sherratt: “Yes! When I first played the role of Donna (the mother) a year and a half ago it was the first time I’ve played a mom in a show, which took on special meaning as a mother of young children.

“I didn’t realize until I dug into the show again just how relevant the storyline of Donna’s independence, her raising a child on her own, and that mother-daughter relationship was for me as a mother of young children. There’s a beautiful moment in Act 2 when Donna helps Sophie get into her wedding dress. Donna reflects on the years that they’ve had together and it’s a really sweet moment that I don’t think I appreciated when watching the show years ago. I can relate to the mother-daughter dynamic more now as a full-time teacher and mom.” Why is live theatre so important for communities?

Sherratt: “The Arts, athletics and extracurriculars round out who we are as a people. If we just focus on academics we lose out on building the whole child. As an educator and now as a parent we have to help our students find balance between doing well in school academically and developing confidence. I believe we can build that confidence by coming together as a group for a common purpose, through the Arts, through athletics and through other avenues that get students working in teams. Understanding how your role as an individual plays a part in the whole is such a great message for building strong communities.

“I’m drawn back to live theatre because you feel a sense community with the audience that is unlike any other experience. There’s something about watching another person live on stage that can be so much more powerful than passively watching something on a screen.” What can the community do to help ensure PCRT is brining live theatre to the stage for many years to com?

Sherratt: “We’re asking our community to support us in any way they can, by donating to our company and by helping get the word out about Mamma Mia! PCRT is a 501(c)(3) charity so all donations are tax-deductible. Come see Mamma Mia! and you’ll be entertained with affordable and professional live theater while support the Arts in our community.

You can help the Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre meet their fundraising goals via this GoFundMe campaign: If your company matches donations, make sure to request a match at work.



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