With the end of another calendar year nearly upon us, NBYT is looking back at all we’ve accomplished in 2015! The theater offered more programs and productions, served more children and teens, and entertained more audience members than in any previous year! We couldn’t be prouder of our growth and accomplishments. And we know that we have all of you to thank for that too!
In May 2015, NBYT completed year-long After-school Literacy-based Drama Programs in six New Britain elementary schools; NBYT also served two New Britain middle schools in the academic year ending in 2015. In the fall, NBYT began year-long after-school programs again. We are in only two elementary schools—but there’s a waiting list for students to join the program!
NBYT reached students outside of New Britain public schools in 2015 as well. Students in Plainville, Bristol and Torrington were treated with performances of The Cinderella Project, NBYT’s first school touring production. Preschoolers were served at the Family Wellness Center in New Britain, where NBYT offered a monthly class. NBYT also brought programs into Hartford public schools through the Hartford Performs organization.
During the summer of 2014, for a fifth year, NBYT participated in a Summer Enrichment Experience (“SEE”) in New Britain elementary schools. These summer school programs benefited over 100 New Britain students, and not only did they reduce summer learning loss, but they helped contribute to summer learning gains!
In its space at the New Britain-Berlin YMCA, NBYT continued Stage Performance Classes in acting, improvisation, and musical theater. NBYT also continued its Homeschool Enrichment program, and in the fall the “Homeschool Repertory Players” performed The Faire Tale Zone.
In the summer, NBYT offered Workshops in improv and musical theater, and we also brought a bus of students and parents to Broadway to see Hamilton—just before the rest of the world realized what a groundbreaking musical it is! In total, educational programs at NBYT during 2014 enrolled over 1,000 children and teens.
Productions and Performances
In February, the NBYT Teen Company produced The Adventures of Tom Sawyer at the Carriage House Theater in Hartford. The Mark Twain House and Museum—right across the street—was a promotional partner!
In March, NBYT held its annual You Can’t Do That at NBYT!—a combination performance, karaoke party, and fundraiser for the theater’s fifth birthday. (Our next annual You Can’t Do That at NBYT!—in celebration of NBYT’s sixth birthday—will be held in March 2016. Watch for a date!)
In April, the Little Kids on Stage! series continued with Unlocked: The True Story of Rapunzel. Due to a high turnout at auditions, two complete casts appeared in two performances each. The next month, in the Kids on Stage! production series, young actors performed Stuart Little, based on the E.B. White story.
In June, the Teen Company made history with NBYT’s first free outdoor production, performing Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the grounds of the New Britain Museum of American Art. Despite being rained out for one performance, over 500 audience members attended over the weekend!
The summer musical, The Wizard of Oz, brought together actors from ages six through sixteen to stage the musical based on the classic film. (Registration for the 2016 summer musical, Beauty and the Beast, will begin soon!)
In the fall, NBYT began its sixth season of productions. The Little Kids on Stage! program opened with Winnie the Pooh. The Kids on Stage! production of A Christmas Carol was a huge success all around!
Also in the fall, the NBYT Teen Company held auditions and began rehearsals for What If? A Musical Theater Revue (to be performed in February 2016). Members of NBYT’s teen improv troupe, SquishyTown Asylum, also performed twice during the year.
During the year, NBYT held a total of sixty-four performances and share days, directly served over 1,600 participating children and teens, and entertained over 4,000 audience members. Participants in NBYT programs have now come from fifty-two different towns in Greater New Britain, Greater Hartford, the Farmington Valley, and throughout Connecticut.
The year’s end is also a time to review NBYT’s finances. Low participation fees and ticket prices cover only part of the theater’s operating expenses, and we rely on a generous community to make up the difference.
Despite growing each year, NBYT is still a struggling nonprofit challenged with meeting expenses. In 2015, participation fees and ticket sales for Tom Sawyer, Rapunzel, Stuart Little, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Wizard of Oz, Winnie the Pooh, and A Christmas Carol paid for only 70% of the costs of producing those shows. We don’t want to raise participation fees or ticket prices any further; it’s important (and, in fact, within the NBYT mission) to provide low-cost programming. Therefore, for the remaining 30%, we rely on funding from supportive foundations, government agencies and organizations, corporations and small businesses, and generous individuals.
Please help NBYT to succeed and continue to produce quality performances both by and for your children and others like them in Connecticut. We’re not asking anyone to give or do anything more than they can. If you can, however, here are ways that you can help:
- Make a tax-deductible donation to NBYT by clicking on the button below, calling us with credit card information, or sending a check to New Britain Youth Theater, P.O. Box 306, New Britain, CT 06050-0306.
- Find out if your workplace has giving programs to which NBYT might apply. Often, preference is given to nonprofits which employees support and endorse. Sometimes NBYT may be written in in United Way workplace giving campaigns as well.
- Encourage businesses, large or small, to purchase ads or sponsor a production. Program advertisements begin at just $35, and business sponsorship begins at $100. Any business interested or seeking more information may contact NBYT at 860-515-8115.
- Tell friends and family about NBYT—especially families with children—and encourage them to participate and attend our performances.
We know that many of you reading this support NBYT already, and we’re truly grateful and blessed to have that support. Happy New Year to all, and we hope to see you in 2016!