Founded in 2000, Pollyanna Theatre company is a company of professional Theatre Artists that create and perform original plays for young audiences. Every Pollyanna production carries a message of hope and teaches a key life lesson to the audience. Although our primary audience is between the ages of 6-12, theatre is a powerful teaching tool that speaks to people of all ages so every Pollyanna production addresses emotional and educational needs in a wide variety of ways, engaging all audience members.
With our newest play by Gregory S. Perrin, we will be directly addressing the issue of social inequality through historical subject matter. LIBERTY, EQUALITY AND FIREWORKS is a theatrical exploration of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s and is designed to be a young person's introduction to this important moment in our national history. The play will also challenge young people to consider what further advances we need to make as a society to fully realize the goals established in the 1960’s by our nation. As the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act reach their respective 50th anniversaries, it is a natural time in our collective history to revisit this pivotal moment in our national development. Now is the time for the arts to help insure that the next generation of Americans understands the personal sacrifices made by countless citizens to guarantee the civil rights that we now enjoy and often take for granted.
Our play will ask young people important question such as: Who were the ordinary Americans who answered the call and stood up for what is right for all people? Who risked everything to make it possible for us to enjoy the level of equality we treasure today? And what are we now being called to do to keep liberty, equality, and justice available to more Americans today? We have come a long way but we still have a long way to go...... We believe that asking these questions of today's young people is important. Our project will take this production to under-served communities outside of Austin, TX, our usual service area. Although many of these communities are less an two hours from our usual performance venue, they will not see the live performing arts unless we take them to them. And that is what we need your help to do.
Our Audience: While we have traditionally served very young children and their families, LIBERTY, EQUALITY, AND FIREWORKS is written and designed specifically for children in grades 3, 4, and 5, a bit older than many of our regular patrons. And while the subject matter is somber, in our usual Pollyanna style, our patrons can be assured that this important part of our national history will be addressed with the same thoughtful humor that has become synonymous with our brand. Our play is not a history lecture. Instead, our young patrons will see history come to life as the characters in the play (a group of 4th graders) visit a history museum. As the characters tour the exhibits (iconic images from the movement of 1960's), the people and places in the photos come to life and engage the young characters in a vivid retelling of their story. The play was successfully performed for over 1,500 of Austin's young people in October of 2014. We know that young audiences find the play compelling and that they identify strongly with the characters. And now is the time to widen our audience to include a wider base of under-served students.
The Need: We perform at The Long Center in Austin, TX, but are looking for funding to tour this production to more under served at-risk young audiences throughout Texas and the Southeastern U.S. There are many communities who have no access to professional theatre for young audiences. And no program of the nature of LIBERTY, EQUALITY, AND FIREWORKS! can reach them unless we take the production to them. For almost 15 years, Pollyanna has done a body of fabulous original plays, but this one deserves to be taken to a broader audience in order to honor this key moment in our history. Will you help us take this to more at-risk young people who otherwise will not have an an opportunity to see this play and engage in the conversations that it sparks?
Risks and challenges
As a mission-driven organization, Pollyanna invests all financial resources into serving young audiences. And because we know that school and family budgets are stretched to their breaking point, we work to keep our ticket prices low while keeping our production values high. This combination of values and dedication to service leaves our company with no resources to broaden our base of audiences served through touring. We do not have the funds needed to communicate effectively with schools and potential presenters outside of Austin, TX, our home base. We do not have the resources needed to travel, taking our existing company members and sets to other communities. But Pollyanna Theatre has just closed a very successful run of this play at The Long Center in Austin, TX. We see the potential for learning among under-served communities. And we want to serve them through this production.
All development, playwright fees etc. have been covered to get this play to production. We feel such passion for this project and we want to share it much more broadly with those young audiences that otherwise would not have an opportunity to experience this production. The potential loss to our company if this project is not funded is not a financial one, but rather is the loss of a great opportunity to effect positive social change and show children that they CAN make a positive difference in society.
Our company has no resources that can make touring this important new piece of theatre possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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