NOTE: When contributing to this campaign, payments will appear to be sent to San Diego Sports Photography. The owner of this company is WVTC's Treasurer and has been kind enough to let us use their bank account to process your contributions. 100% of the proceeds from this project WILL go to Westview Theatre.
Westview Theatre Company is unique in its student-driven nature. Theatre programs in other schools (as well as other programs in our own school) often rely heavily on parents to do things like make costumes, sell tickets, manage the backstage area, etc. Here, our students have direct input in – and often direct control of – every aspect of our company. We emphasize the importance of professionalism and encourage students to look at the company as more than an after-school program. Students fill all positions from technical crews to executive leadership positions such as Assistant Director, Stage Manager, and Producer. Students build the set, design the posters, and promote the productions. Even now, a student is writing these very words you’re reading.
Because we place so much responsibility on them, each student has a vested interest in the success of the company. Not only are they a part of our company, they are an important part. Our program provides a community in which kids can cultivate their talents and skills and witness the direct result of their work, as well one where they can make lifelong friends and memories, like any extra-curricular should do.
At its inception, Westview Theatre Company was directed by Doug Smith. Smith was Westview's drama teacher, and had been teaching for many years before Westview opened. Upon his retirement in the spring of 2010, Westview-alumni Kristen Nevarez stepped up to take Smith's place. Under Nevarez's direction, two new annual shows were created (Bound for Broadway, our showcase of musical numbers, scenes and monolgues, as well as a winter mainstage production) and the Westview Improv team was brought back to life. This school year, Chris Wollman, who originally worked as an additional acting coach with Nevarez, has taken over as our director. Along with Nevarez, Chris has been named Outstanding Director by National Youth Arts for two consecutive years.
WVTC is considered for a number of awards each year, the largest of which is that of the CETA (California Educational Theatre Association) Festival Mainstage. We here at Westview have been honored with this award three times in the past five years. The first time was in 2008, under the direction of Doug Smith, for our production of the Tempest. Next was last year for To Kill a Mockingbird, and the most recent being this year for our production of The Odd Couple. Each year, one school is chosen from each of the four regions in Southern California. To be the chosen school from our area two years in a row is an incredible honor. While at the CETA festival, our company (both as a whole and individually) is up for a handful of awards and scholarships. This year we walked away from the festival with the award for the Best Technical Crew. We were described as a "student-driven" company and were praised for our efficiency and professionalism. Our students also receive numerous awards each year from the Fullerton Theatre Festival and NYA (National Youth Arts).
The Drowsy Chaperone:
The Drowsy Chaperone follows the narration of a lonely, middle-aged musical theatre fanatic, as he shares his favorite musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, with the audience. As he plays the record of the 1920s cast recording, the show comes to life in the apartment. Literally. He leads us through the frantic wedding day of Janet Van De Graaff, an ex-star of the stage, and Robert Martin, an oil tycoon who loves Janet dearly. Mix-ups and mayhem ensue when a furious producer, a striving star, a sultry latin lover, mobsters disguised as pastry chefs, and a drunken chaperone are thrown into the fray, all while the narrator comments from his chair.
Our director, Chris Wollman, puts much thought into which shows he selects for our company each year. He takes into consideration the kind of talent we have available and often chooses shows based on that. As an educator, he also likes to make each show a learning experience and an opportunity for growth for everyone. As he explains in our video, The Drowsy Chaperone is an excellent pick due to the amount of principal characters. Whereas most shows have two or three leads and a few minor roles with solos, this show has thirteen non-ensemble roles, each with their own distinct character, musical solos, and comedic moments. Chris has faith in our company’s talent and is positive that we have the means to make this show fantastic.
Budget cuts have taken a huge toll on the California educational system, to say the least. Even more so, these cuts have relentlessly wiped out many art programs in schools throughout the state. At Westview, our theatre company has been diminished to a student-run club with no funding from the school besides a small fraction of our director’s salary. Year after year our company barely breaks even. For each production, crews have to design around what materials we already have and only buy what is absolutely necessary. This is where you come in.
The $3,800 that we have set as our goal covers the costs of the show’s licensing and the accompaniment (both of which make up the bulk of our expenses). Any and all funds we receive exceeding our goal will be put into our technical crews. Think nicer wigs, more elaborate set pieces, and higher sound quality. Every dollar counts. One dollar could buy one eyeliner pencil (which we always need). With your help, income from The Drowsy Chaperone will be directed towards stabilizing our company, rather than reimbursing those who spent money out of their own pockets to stage the show. For example, we need to focus on solidifying our hair and makeup inventory, replacing microphones, and buying headsets for our stage managers, among other things. When you commit to backing our project, you are helping a high school arts program stay afloat rather than remain treading water.
Risks and challenges
Funding is our biggest obstacle at Westview Theatre Company. The arts are getting less and less funding in schools each year, and we've reached the point where "if we're here next year" is a valid consideration. Every dollar of your contribution helps secure our place in Westview High. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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