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Stopping to take count. . .

I’ve learned a lot in the past 15 months about owning and managing a business. One of the biggest lessons: taking a moment to reflect on what we’ve accomplished. It’s so easy to focus on what needs to be done next and I am guilty of not taking stock of what we’ve done so far. And we’ve done A. LOT.

Since my last post, we’ve successfully incorporated “Treasure Valley YOUTH Theater, Inc.” a 501c3 nonprofit organization that empowers youth and inspires future innovators, entrepreneurs, creators, humanitarians and artists through performance-based theater arts programs.

"Schoolhouse Rock, Live!" Jr. Cast
“Schoolhouse Rock, Live!” Jr. Cast

The Oct. 26 production of “Schoolhouse Rock, Live! Jr.” is a Treasure Valley YOUTH Theater, Inc. production sponsored by Treasure Valley Children’s Theater, Inc. The 16 cast members range in age from 10-15. They rehearse every Saturday from 10-2pm and, I gotta tell ya, these kids are AWESOME!

The cast was challenged to raise $2800 collectively to support the cost of producing the show. They were given multiple options including splitting the cost among the cast, finding corporate sponsors and fundraising. We received some wonderful support from a few fine local businesses including Scott Summerlin with Principal Financial, Layne Taylor with Harmon Travel, Mark Pasculli with Cleanup & Total Restoration (CTR), YONG IN Master Lee’s Tae Kwon Do, Dan Long with teenHABITS. But the BIG surprise was local actor turned “Breaking Bad” star, Aaron Paul. Thanks to the amazing Kate McGwire and Mix 106, TVYT was the recipient of funds raised during a charity auction of tickets to the much-talked-about “Breaking Bad” premier at the Egyptian Theater back in Sept. The auction raised $1,575!!! The kids were ecstatic! As a result of the successful fundraising efforts, the cast did not have to pay a participation fee. However, they do have to sell tickets to the Oct. 26 show! BUY NOW.

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Performance at Meridian Library

The adult company (Treasure Valley Children’s Theater) isn’t resting on our laurels – oh no! After our summer library tour of “Earthworms Make America Great!” we’ve filled our Creative Dramatics 3-5 year olds class, our Sept. 6-8 year old class had 6 excellent students, the 9-14 year old class had 10 students. Our Oct. classes are FULL!!! By offering a month-to-month class option, parents have more flexibility and we’re able to introduce new material each session, keeping the curriculum fresh. These classes are led by Catherine Richardson (Creative Dramatics) and Courtney Ransom (Ages 6 and up). I’m so lucky to have such amazing and talented Artist Educators willing to share their gifts with our students.

Full classes is exciting news, but doesn’t nearly top our announcement about our space! As of Nov. 1 our location at 703 N. Main St. in downtown Meridian becomes officially the Treasure Valley Children’s Theater and Treasure Valley YOUTH Theater, Inc. home for 2014!

We are SO excited to have a space to call home, even if only for a year. We have BIG plans, including signage for the building, investment in stage curtains, audience seating and platforms. We are seeking a few investors to help us with some of the infrastructure expenses. If you’re interested in being part of our legacy, please visit this link to learn more. All investors at any level of giving will be acknowledged.

We will produce our Dec. main stage show, “A Spell of Cold Weather” at the 703 N. Main St. location.

"A Spell of Cold Weather"
“A Spell of Cold Weather”

Speaking of “A Spell of Cold Weather,” TVCT welcomes our first guest director, Wendy Koeppl, and the cast begins rehearsing in just a couple weeks. The play stars Bradley Campbell, Steve Martin, Anastasia Van Allen and Maggie Schultz. Run dates are Dec. 14 & 21 11am, 3pm & 7pm. Tickets will be available Nov. 1.

What else is happening? The Village at Meridian has contracted TVCT to help in the production of a very fun “Witches Night Out” event on Oct. 24. Nine witches and two warlocks have been actively rehearsing for this event since August and we’re very much looking forward to a fun experience.

We’ve recently added a voice teacher, Leesa Williams, to our Artist Educator family. We’ll be promoting group musical theater classes as well as individual lessons soon. We’re planning to offer regular acting classes for Homeschool students in the spring. We’re very close to announcing our next main stage play and holding auditions for the 2014 adult acting company. And the YOUTH company has an exciting announcement regarding our spring production. . .

Spring 2014!
Spring 2014!

The Meridian Arts Commission has agreed to produce “Peter Pan, Jr.” in March of 2014! Auditions will be in early January for this production. We will be seeking young actors ages 8 and up. I’m excited to welcome Mary Jensen as a Co-Director for “Peter Pan, Jr.” and future TVYT programs! More to come . . .

The YOUTH company is one of the four very fortunate organizations to benefit from The Village at Meridian’s Grand Opening VIP celebration. The amazing people behind The Village at Meridian approached  TVYT and offered to help in raising funds to secure the future of the organization and our programs. At the Oct. 17 invitation-only, VIP event a very special performance orchestrated by The Meridian Symphony, Ballet Idaho, The Meridian Library District and Treasure Valley YOUTH Theater will be presented. Patrons will be offered the opportunity to support these four organizations with a donation. We’re so thrilled to be part of such a magical event and to potentially raise some funds to assist with future programs.

I often wonder if blogs serve any sort of purpose beyond helping me recount the ways in which we’ve succeeded and the mile markers we’ve passed. If anyone actually reads this, then thanks for following along on our journey. I hope to amuse and possible amaze you. But at the very least, I hope to see you at a show sometime.

Signing off for now,

Autumn Kersey