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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Ashland Productions

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Arts Education, Theater

Mission: Ashland Productions creates the forum for children and adults to grow in their appreciation of the performing arts by providing hands-on learning opportunities to develop and encourage the skills essential to the production of quality live theatre.

Geographic areas served: Twin Cities Metro Area

Programs: Ashland productions provides a place for theater enthusiasts to practice their craft while giving local audiences superior entertainment opportunities. Ashland produced 25 productions during the year, hosted a summer camp for kids, and performed various other related services. These activities serviced hundreds of participants and thousands of audience members.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Client Served

Rating: 1

I have no idea who has been working with these other reviewers, but our experience with Ashland has been miserable. They are rude to the children and parents, sarcastic, mean, have no idea how to keep busy kids busy, and tell them they will be kicked out of the play if they get too many strikes. Their approach may work for older children who have a huge love of theater, but for a first experience with a younger and energetic child, it was a very long and unhappy 4 months and we couldn't wait for it to be over. There are other children's theater companies out there who do a much better job and in a shorter amount of time. I certainly hope our school got something out of it because we certainly didn't.

15

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter (8 years old) got involved with Ashland Productions and has loved every minute. She has learned alot at Ashland and I have learned alot by help with the back stage and spotlight operator duties.

11

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Ashland Productions is an amazing nonprofit. It is a place for children of all ages to learn about the different aspects of theater and life skills as well. I have had the privilege of knowing and being taught by the founders of Ashland Productions and my siblings have been involved in recent productions. The children performing with Ashland have really great leaders that care about each actor/actress and work hard to make each production a rewarding experience for everyone involved. My sister loves the people at Ashland, the adult leaders and the older students. She comes home from rehearsals singing and dancing around the house. It is incredible that Ashland can provide kids with an activity where they can learn to express themselves through theater arts and be taught by amazing people. I have known many friends that have been involved with Ashland Productions and each has nothing but good things to say about the program. My friends in Ashland continue to go back show after show because they have found how beneficial it is for them and it also gives them a chance to be leaders for younger children. Being an audience member to several Ashland productions, I am always in awe while watching a performance. The things kids can do if you give them a chance are unbelievable.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ashland Productions is a top notch theater company. All three of my children have participated in their shows over the last several years. Each Ashland opportunity builds friendships and confidence. After each experience my children are already looking forward to the next "time." The shows are high quality and the staff outstanding! We are proud supporters of this 5 STAR company!! We would highly recommend Ashland to everyone!! The Hackman Family

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been an Ashland Productions Board member for 4 years and have been witness to all of the wonderful things they have done for our children and community. Ashland brings affordable, professional theater to the community and has a huge educational component for children. Not only are children mentored by adult actors during a production, but there are also camps available for children to attend in the summer where they learn acting, singing and dancing and end with a weekend performance. Within the last two years we have implemented the Ashland Collaborative Theater (ACT) that allows us to go into the community schools and offer children a hands on experience with performing a jr musical on stage. Ashland has received numerous accounts from teachers and parents of how childrens self esteem, attitude, excitement, and confidence (among other things) have improved after just one performance with Ashland. Ashland is growing at a phenomenal rate, this is an exciting time for Ashland and the community.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have known Ashland from its conception and it has been amazing watching it grow. The organization is continuously looking for ways to get more children exposed to the arts that would not otherwise have the opportunity. The quality of shows they out on is outstanding. The variety of activities they provide is incredible: thetre camps, music lessons, dance lessons, opportunities to meet broadway performers and choreographers, bringing theatre to area schools and of course theatrical shows themselves. My daughter attended their theatre camp and we had a wonderful experience-very inclusive and fun. We all love Ashland.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ashland not only teaches the skills and technique necessary for live, on-stage performance, but it teaches the intangibles that provide benefits for a lifetime. I've seen insecure, shy, timid children progress through Ashland programming and become beautiful, self-assured swans who sing without reserve. The staff of Ashland train and encourage participants to discover their potential, potential that they don't yet even realize exists! They draw the hidden talents out of kids whether it be song, dance, lighting, organizing, choreographing, etc. Each child is made to feel special and important as a team player. Many children find their niche through Ashland and continue on in theater at their high schools. Ashland has even been fertile training ground and the spring board for several stage performers who have gone on to perform on Broadway! One of Ashland's primary goals is to keep class prices, performing fees and ticket pricing at a reasonable level so that all ages/income brackets in the community can be a part. Ashland has never let financial difficulty be a barrier to participation. Because of this, Ashland relies heavily on donations which are scarce in tough economic times. This is one arts organization that makes its community a better place in which to live and is sincerely deserving of endorsement-

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experience with Ashland was when my daughter was is one of their shows. I quickly realized what a wonderful and nurturing organization it is. What a fantastic oppertunitiy is being offered to these children and the community at large. A chance to work with experienced adults who loved what they do and are willing to share that passion with children. My daughter went on to perform with the Ashland youth group for many years, and it also was a wonderful experience. With all the mentoring provided and fantastic oppertunties afforded her by Ashland, she has developed a love for theater and music and is now majoring in both in College. I so appretiate everything Ashland has done not only for my daughter, but all the children that continue to benefit from this exciting program, that I have continued to volunteer my time to this worthy project.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ashland's ACT program is AMAZING!!! It gives young kids, who may never have the opportunity to get involved in theatre, the experience of a lifetime. Our school doesn't have a theater, so their concerts and drama club perform on the alter of the church. With the ACT Program, they work in a beautiful theater, with lights, sound, costumes, props, beautiful sets, professional directors, choreographers, and music directors. And the kids are hooked! It's an excellent program and the kids learn so much. Not just about theatre, but you see their confidence level rise...they learn to work together as a team and to focus on something to create a great show! It's an awesome program that should be available to every child!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Ashland Productions has done an amazing job to get youth involved with theater. They teach responsibility, organization and the overall love for singing, dancing and music. The production and directing crew are amazing with the kids and provide them with an incredible stage experience! They continue to find ways to bring the community in to share in the joy of live theater.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Whether volunteering my time as a performer in a production, or working as a paid professional, I have always enjoyed my experiences with Ashland Productions. The directors and professional staff are creative, hard working and professional in their dealings with everyone who participates in Ashland's projects. In working with younger children, middle and high school performers, I liked that everyone is treated with kindness and respect. The mixed age productions are a wonderful vehicle for younger performers to work with adults in a fun and nurturing atmosphere. AS I've observed young people who have gotten training and experience at Ashland, growth in performing skills and personal confidence are very evident benefits of being a part of this fine theatre arts organization. Parents are encouraged to be involved, so doing a show is a wonderful opportunity for families to work together, as well as introducing non-performers to the world of theatre.

10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have performed with Ashland Productions as an adult professional, music directed for their shows, and taught many of their youth performers voice lessons. I was involved with this company for about 6 years and then moved out of state. I can appreciate even more now what a gem the Twin Cities has in Ashland Productions. You would be hard pressed to find a theatre organization that cares more about its students, that welcomes new talent, and has a special ability to nurture abilities and encourage growth. I am proud to have been a part of this company and really miss it. I know the students that have come out of Ashland carry with them great confidence in themselves and a feeling of belonging.

4

Former Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ashland is a great organization run by professional, fun people. They do amazing things with the kids. My daughter has been involved with Ashland for over 2 years now and just can't get enought of it. They do such great things. They make learning new things fun and exciting for the kids and make the kids feel good about themselves. We have recommended Ashland to many people and will continue to do so.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Ashland is a place to grow and nurture, learn and teach, receive and give. I grew up performing with Ashland and now I teach kids through this company. Year after year, I have seen kids flourish, teenagers learn what it means to be leaders, and adults serve for the pure joy of working with talented and fantastic youth. Ashland isn't just a theater company, it's a place to belong.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Ashland Productions is an amazing organization run by amazing, caring, creative people. I don't know of anywhere else in the twin cities where children can get such a comprehensive, quality, performing experience. The quality of the productions is unbelievable and the life lessons that the kids learn will be with them into adulthood.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had a wonderful experience with Ashland. I have always loved theater and wasn't surprised that my youngest daughter wanted to get involved too. My older girl was incredibly shy though and struggled with reading especially in front of people. After seeing her sister in a play at Ashland she decided to try out. I was worried it would be totally overwhelming for her but she had so much fun. She didn't even get into the first play she tried out for but emerged a different kid after callbacks. She sang and dancde the routines she learned and couldn't wait to see the show. She tried out later that year for another Ashland show and got a role. She ended up having a large part that required dozens of lines and she did great. What an amazing experience. It improved her reading and her overall confidence. We'll be back : )

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We found Ashland about two and half years ago when my family moved to Minnesota. My daughter was searching for some of the same experiences she had where we use to live. She was involved with a singing/dancing group. When she moved here she was extremely upset to leave her family/friends that she had grown up with, until she found Ashland Productions. She attended summer camp and found a whole new, as she describes it, FAMILY. She has found a new home at Ashland Productions. She has been able to be cast in professional quality productions, performed in both the Ashland Youth Performers (grades 1-8) and Ashland Performing Company (grades 9-12), counseling with the younger productions, assistant directing, sound, lights, and back stage. Her growth and confidence since joining Ashland Productions has been extremely immeasurable. She is truly happy here and wants to continue in some type of production manner after college.