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November 12, 2012

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November 12, 2012

When it comes to great nonprofits, I believe Music Theatre of Wichita sets the gold standard. Here is my experience. I was finishing graduate studies in arts administration, pondering the gloomy arts outlook, when a friend suggested I come to Wichita to check out MTW and meet Wayne Bryan. It was just the boost I needed. Bryan became a mentor and showed me possibilities. I met a man with great charisma and passion for the arts, an artistic director who possessed the rare combination of creative vision mixed with business and marketing savvy. I met the core Music Theatre of Wichita staff -- Nancy, Vickie, Mary Sue, Bethany -- all delightful, talented, and equally committed to building the MTW dream. I met Board Members with diverse backgrounds and expertise. I sat in on rehearsals and marveled at the range of talent. Broadway veterans mixed freely with interns, all collaborating with a sense of joy and pride in what they were creating. At the evening’s performance, I witnessed Bryan come out upon the stage to affectionate cheers followed by hushed, rapt attention as he introduced the evening’s tale to an audience hungry for escape. The performance did not disappoint; it was accomplished on all levels. After, Bryan took his position in the lobby, thanking and interacting with audience members as they exited into the night carrying some of the magic with them. Something very special is going on at Century II! My interaction with Wayne Bryan and Music Theatre of Wichita took me from a low ebb to a place of hope for the future of live performance. MTWichita is making a difference. That is why I wanted to include my voice in these reviews. For when it comes to great nonprofits, I believe Music Theatre of Wichita sets the gold standard and provides a golden opportunity for patrons, foundations, corporate sponsors, individual donors -- all who want to ally with a successful and deserving arts organization. Which reminds me … time to pull out my own checkbook …

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

March 31, 2010

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March 31, 2010

I have performed in four shows for MTW, and each time has been a splendid experience! The production quality is of Broadway caliber, and the people who run the company are the best! (Wayne Bryan once came to see me in a show at another theatre, and after that cast met and talked with him, they all said "Now, THAT'S what an Artistic Director should be!") Performers often give up longer-running "gigs" in order to work for MTW, because they know that they will be part of a production they can be proud of and look back on with joy for a lifetime.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Performing in four productions, and also seeing a number of other shows that were closing the night that I arived to start rehearsals for the next show.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The superb level of professionalism and creativity, and the warm welcome and kind attention that visiting performers are given.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Splendid! Consummate professionals and delightful people!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Maybe do MORE shows each year? That would be wonderful!

Ways to make it better...

It could have gone on all summer!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Maintaining the budget and quality of the season in these difficult financial times.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008

March 5, 2010

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March 5, 2010

I have worked for MTW several times, and it is always a wonderful experience. Their productions are top notch, and their educational programs for students are inspiring. What a blessing for this community to have MTW.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the last few productions I have performed in.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the joy of the arts.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

always positive and happy to be there.

Ways to make it better...

they had the money to provide better housing for the actors.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 22, 2010

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February 22, 2010

I've enjoyed an ongoing association with Music Theatre of Wichita for well over fifteen years. Some of my appreciation has grown from viewing their work from afar and following the extraordinary but ongoing quality of production they manifest, season after season. I've admired at closer range their audition and preproduction processes when they've spent their annual working visits to New York City. And on three occasions, I've been privileged to serve on-site there in Kansas, helping to promote and publicize two productions of THE WIZARD OF OZ and another of MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS. In my own four decades (plus) of sporadic professional musical theater employment, I've never known a finer aggregation than that assembled, onstage and off, by Wayne Bryan and his compatriots. They never fail to meet (and they generally surpass) their stated goals of offering exemplary entertainment, managing their facility as an intelligent business concession, and providing compassionate and first-class training for those in their orbit.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

See that they had every thing they require to operate without any day-to-day worries about funding.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

first-class, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, hard-working, tireless, informed, upbeat, aware, dedicated, determined, and rightfully proud of (and grateful for) their MTW association.

Ways to make it better...

My experiences could NOT have been better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The ongoing financial needs and support faced by so many arts organizations.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2006

February 22, 2010

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February 22, 2010

Music Theatre of Wichita is one of those "hidden gems" that the majority of the people who live here don't even understand. MTW's performances are on par with, and often exceed ANYTHING I have seen on Broadway. And there's a good reason for that. Many of MTW's alumi are on Broadway at any given time. Wayne Bryan has an eye for picking (and training) talent that has the potential to be on Broadway. In fact, many Broadway producers say when they see "Music Theatre of Wichita" on someone's resume they are more likely to give that person an interview! We have truly been blessed with Wayne Bryan's talents and abilities! And because he's so amazing the majority of stars on Broadway he's mentored come back to appear in MTW performances every year. So when you attend a MTW performance, you're not only seeing the stars of tomorrow, you are getting a chance to see the Broadway stars of TODAY at a much better ticket price!

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

...easily put Broadway to shame. With very little budget and full time staff it easily matches Broadway productions now. If it had 10 million bucks, it would FAR SURPASS it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 21, 2010

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February 21, 2010

I have had the good fortune of working as an actress for Music Theatre Of Wichita several summers. Music Theatre of Wichita has been the highlight of my musical theatre career. Once you've worked there, you are considered a member of the family for life. I've also had the pleasure of seeing shows at Music Theatre of Wichita when I'm not in the cast, so can say that the productions are of the highest quality. I travel to New York and don't even go to shows there because I know they won't compare to Music Theatre of Wichita! The professionalism is top notch, from Wayne Bryan, the Producing Artistic Director, all the way thru the staff and volunteers. AMAZING group of people who all work towards bringing the arts to the people in the best way possible. I'm HONORED to know them all.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Hearing the thundering applause and laughter showing the JOY of the audience, both from the stage, and being a member of the audience.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make the season longer.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Love, Laughter, and Respect.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Better than any other staff and volunteers I've met and worked with ANYWHERE.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Continue bringing the arts to people in ways MOST people could never experience ... passion behind the scenes shines forth on stage, and with 10 million bucks, even I can't imagine the MAGIC Wayne and Music Theatre of Wichita could show the world.

Ways to make it better...

Music Theatre of Wichita had longer season.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

The economy ...

One thing I'd also say is that...

Anyone reading this who hasn't had the pleasure of seeing a production at Music Theatre of Wichita should schedule a vacation around their schedule and go to Wichita to see a show. You won't be sorry! ... www.mtwichita.org

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

February 21, 2010

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February 21, 2010

There are not enough superlatives to heap upon this fabulous organization. When I met director Wayne Bryan, I was so impressed with him that I flew from California to Wichita to see his production of Camelot. The production values were first-rate, comparable to what I've seen in New York and San Francisco. While shopping and dining in Wichita, I met salespeople, waiters, and production staff members who all raved about Wayne and the shows he creates. One woman called him "The Treasure of Wichita." The entire organization is suffused with enthusiasm and esprit de corps, which is apparent on stage.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the theater itself.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The way staff and volunteers love and respect the director, Wayne Bryan.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Friendly, enthusiastic, dedicated.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

perhaps have a longer season to delight audiences and provide employment for singers and dancers.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 20, 2010

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February 20, 2010

I've worked in theatres across the country (and overseas) for over twenty years and return to Wichita whenever possible to renew my sense of connection with the art form and audience. Wayne Bryan is a unique talent, an impresario who truly loves musical theatre and continually finds new ways to delight and challenge his loyal audiences. The staff, artists and hosts of volunteers seem to recognize the unique value of their contributions and the results can be seen in the quality of the productions.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the transformation and education of younger artists learning their craft from the professionals around them.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the excitement, focus and professionalism of all participants.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

eager to go the extra mile and a valued network that supports its artists.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

foster additional theatrical outreach and education in its youth programs, create further foundations or scholarship grants for its brightest young upcoming talent, commission new works bound for the Broadway stage...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 20, 2010

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February 20, 2010

My experience has been the mostly thrilling musical and theatrical experiences of my life so far. I've been involved for the last decade and wouldn't trade any of the years. The producer is one of the best theatre practitioners, businessman and all around great person. He's one of a kind and the success of the company trickles down. The company is committed to excellence in production and education for the many young people involved.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As an outsider, east coaster, I can't wait to get to Kansas in the summers. MTWichita is the highlight of my professional musical career.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Let me just keep it short and sweet. Music Theatre of Wichita is a treasure all over the country. The company inspires audience and young professionals alike, provides work opportunities for the city and produces some of the best theatre in the county.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

First rate. Top notch, professional and personable in every way.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Shine even brighter.

Ways to make it better...

I could have stayed longer.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Having exclusive rights to the performance facility during the summer season.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

February 20, 2010

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February 20, 2010

I have worked at Music Theatre of Wichita for 5 seasons now. Ever since my first, in 2002, the company has seemed like home to me. Working there I have met some of my closest friends and most respected business associates. The quality put into our productions is of the upmost care and consideration within every shop and rehearsal hall. MTW's staff is professional yet caring-a characteristic few can manage. In all, I get excited about March in anticipation of the fun I will and the challenges we will meet during the summer.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The scene shop, steel hall, stage, grid, etc.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Win powerball, give them half of it.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

It's theatre. It's something new every die. I get to push my skills to my limits. I get to build scenery with great people and they pay me for it!

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fantastic.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

be completely unstoppable.

Ways to make it better...

They had a CNC machine.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Finding proper leadership in certain roles.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I love MTW.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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