I am excited to post our first blog and to announce our 2018-2019 season at the same time!
McKeesport Little Theater has an Artistic Research Committee (ARC, for short) that spends nearly a year reading and discussing plays and musicals. We start with the list of shows that were NOT chosen for the last season and add additional shows to that list. Normally that list ends up having about 50 different shows on it.
Patron input is requested at some of our shows via a survey. The theater wants to put on quality shows that appeal to our audiences. We value your opinions of our shows and want to know what you liked and disliked about each show. We also want to know what types of shows you want to see. Every few years we distribute a survey that asks only what shows you would like to see in the future. These surveys are tabulated and the results are given to the ARC for consideration by the committee.
Shows are eliminated from the list after discussion among the committee members. Some shows are eliminated because the rights are not available at the time, some are eliminated because they are being performed by numerous other community theaters in the area, and some are eliminated because of cost restraints. As the list is whittled down we begin to dissect the shows left on the list more thoroughly.
Once the ARC has whittled the list down to 4-6 musicals and 6-8 plays the committee presents the selections to the Board of Directors. The presentation includes a synopsis of each show, cast size and the approximate cost for the rights of the shows, among other things. Photos and video clips from other theaters’ performances are also included so the Board can get an idea of the set size, costumes, etc. The Board can ask questions and make comments about the shows presented.
After the presentation and discussion the Board then votes by ballot for one musical and three plays. The votes are then tabulated by a non-Board member and the shows with the highest number of votes are the shows for the upcoming season.
At the Board meeting on March 20, 2018 the following shows were selected for the 2018-2019 season:
The season will start out in September with Sordid Lives, a comedy by Del Shores. In November we will present the musical Rent with book, music, and lyrics by Jonathan Larson. Baby with the Bathwater, a satirical comedy by Christopher Durang, will be the March 2019 show. The season will end in May 2019 with Steel Magnolias, by Robert Harting.
And in April ARC begins the task of searching for shows for the 2019-2020 season!