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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Hickory Community Theatre Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: Hickory Community Theatre provides the venue for creative exploration in drama, music, dance and visual art to the citizens of Catawba County and the entire Unifour area.

Results: We sell over 15,000 tickets every year to shows and special events put on by over 200 volunteer performers and staffed by over 400 community volunteers.

Target demographics: We serve people from all walks of life, at all income levels, regardless of race, color, social status or any other factors, throughout a five county region and beyond.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 15,000

Geographic areas served: Catawba, Caldwell, Burke, Alexander. Iredell and Lincoln Counties

Programs: 1. Mainstage theatre season: a season of five family-friendly plays and musicals chosen for broad audience appeal; produced with community volunteers. 2. Contemporary series: a season of three modern plays chosen to challenge audiences and actors by their content and subject matter; also produced with community volunteers. 3. Youth Theatre Academy: Experienced theatre professionals working with young people up to age 18 and teaching them the craft of theatre and performance.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Hickory Community Theater is a wonderful place for actors of all ages to come and hone their talents. It is filled with wonderment for the youngest theater lovers with their Rug Bug plays offering a venue for the youngest actors to bring their talents to the stage. It is also a place where you can come and relax knowing that you will leave with a sense of fulfillment in the entertainment you have been provided with. It is affordable and gives us the charm of an old style theater. We are blessed in this area to have something that we can go to and take in a little culture.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hickory Community Theatre is a wonderful place to nurture your talents and creativity in a welcoming and caring community. The staff has a magical way of bringing out the best of those who want to develop their talents or discover a skill you did not know you possessed.

I have met the most welcoming and warm people at this place and am so glad that our community has this treasure in its' midst.

Sarah D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter really loves the Hickory Community Theatres RugBug Shows. They are for a young audience but all ages enjoy the show alike. This is the only theatre I know of that offers a youth theatre. It’s a great opportunity for children and to learn about acting drama, and speaking in front of an audience.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hickory Community Theatre is a jewel for the area that is worthy of community support. The professionalism and creativity of the dedicated staff at HCT constantly amaze me. The paid staff at HCT is small in numbers but huge in talent. Each year a wide variety of plays are selected ranging from drama to comedy to musicals that challenge the actors and staff to stretch their talents. The programs are chosen to include young children, teens, adults and seniors. Although there is a wealth of incredible talent in this area of NC the artistic directors continue to accept and work with people new to the stage wanting to learn and experience what live theatre is all about. As someone new to the area, volunteering has given me the opportunity to meet so many fun, caring, and kind people. I enjoy observing the audience as they leave the theatre after a performance. I have seen people singing and dancing as well as being moved to tears. As a member of the Guild I have been welcomed into the HCT family and been privileged to support the theatre with our activities and fund raisers. Although some work is involved, we have great fun in the process. As a former Board member I have witnessed the difficulty of a non-profit community theatre being dependent on donations to continue. In spite of these challenges HCT continues to provide spectacular productions.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Growing up near NYC afforded me the opportunity to see Broadway productions on a regular basis. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I expect to find a community theatre - with entire casts made up of volunteers (e.g., soccer moms, doctors, lawyers, and high school students) - that afforded me the same enjoyment. Dramas, comedies, musicals, large productions and small - all display an exceptional level of professionalism and delightful entertainment.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed the theater productions for years and the past few years as a volunteer for the theater and member of the HCT Guild.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with HCT for about 12 years. First as the parent of child actors who were heavily involved, and later as a volunteer, actress, and board member. I can honestly say that this organization does a fabulous job of putting quality theatre on it's stage on a regular basis. They recently received the top honor for a community theatre by the NCTC (North Carolina Theater Confrerence) when they were awarded the NCTC "Community Theater of the Year" for 2009. What an honor to have this theatre recognized as a leader in our state. We are blessed in Hickory to have an organization that isn't afraid to put on shows that are new to some theatre-goers worlds, not just the old standbys. Luckily, some in our community have come to trust the quality at HCT and generally will attend even shows they aren't familiar with. Now if they could just get more friends to come with them. . . . LIke all non-profits, HCT is always on the edge financially, but the staff works hard to contain costs and still put on great theatre. If you've ever been involved with theatre, you know that everyone is welcome to get involved - HCT offers opportunities for the youngest in their RugBug Theatre, to the most experienced in their "Senior Theatre". This institution is a community gem that helps Hickory sparkle.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had contact with the staff, volunteers & performers of Hickory Community Theatre on a weekly basis for more than three years. As a transplanted, long-time NYC resident with experience in theater, film & television, I have been delighted, and often thrilled, by their productions. HCT is brave enough to produce contemporary plays & musicals and savvy enough to mix in just the right type & number of classic plays & musicals to please & entice a broad section of the area's population. For example, their productions of THE PRODUCERS, CHICAGO, DOUBT & TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE brought thought-provoking & high-energy entertainment to a public who might not have had a chance to experience it otherwise. They are also educating very young people with their youth productions, RugBug Theatre. These children will now grow up understanding the value, need & the sheer fun of theatre being a part of every day life. I cannot say enough good things about the positive impact of HCT on this community. They set a high standard not often found in community theatre, and yet being in the audience or cast of a show at HCT has always been a warm & illuminating experience for me.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer and season subscriber since the 70's. HCT is Hickory's finest asset and produces plays with a professionalism that far exceeds the typical community theatre. The plays run the gamut from Shakespeare to comedy to musicals to serious drama. One of my guests ho winters in Florida commented that the quality of the plays at HCT actually exceeded that of some of the professional plays in the Ft. Myers area. I am immensely proud of our staff, our board, our guild and our volunteers, including the amazing talent that graces our stage. Kudos to Hickory Community Theatre.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Hickory Community Theatre in a variety of "roles." One of the most cherished is the pleasure of being friends with the Jeffers family for almost 60 years. My first memories of an HCT are of my father in some type of follies. I remember laughing until I cried as he walked on stage with a wooden barrel hanging over him. That was the beginning of a long love affair with HCT. You see, we share the same birthday year - 1949. As a child, HCT was always a magical kingdom. Once inside, nothing else existed except life on the stage. That hasn't changed. The magic never went away. HCT offers more than a play or a production – it is LIFE, on the stage. It never matters what the show is – all are excellent. The professionalism – the extreme talent, direction, choreography, sets, script –it all comes together and makes me feel as if I am on stage with them. Many years ago, I was in Annie Get Your Gun and Where's Charlie. I was quite young and nervous and knew even then that any future involvement with HCT would not be as an actress! I've seen a lifetime of shows on the HCT stage. The talent is off the scale, professional, and at times leaves me speechless. And just when I think that Pam Livingstone has pulled out all the stops in directing a show, she delivers another award-winning production. Everyone is top-notch - the many actors, Pam, Charles Jeffers, Clay James, John Rambo. From the mid-1980s to 2003, I photographed every show on Mainstage and many in the Firemen's Kitchen for an area newspaper. I felt the raw emotion, the energy and love for acting and was so busy trying to capture it on film, that I always went back to see the show - without a camera. I continue to feel that raw emotion, energy and love. During a three-month period of lay-off from work, I was in Guys and Dolls. I cannot act or sing or dance, but I had the time of my life at a very crucial turning point personally. I was welcomed into a new family of 30+ friends at a time when I most needed support. I cried through the last performance, and went through a "withdrawal" period of several months. My husband and I served as a volunteers, and he continues to photograph the shows. I know how critical volunteers are, and HCT is blessed to have many. I'm sure there are never enough. Especially in tough times economically - volunteer services are essential. But, so is money. And, I learned about the business side of HCT. I served on the Board of Directors and know the painful experience of sitting at that table - trying to stretch dollars. I fully realized then how remarkable HCT is – to continue to operate such an award-winning community theatre, with top-notch productions, talent, sets, direction, music – on very little money. My wish is that every person has the utter joy of experiencing and loving HCT as I have had and continue to experience. My life is richer because of HCT. Every time I walk into the lovely foyer, and into the depths of that stately "old girl," so full of history, I transcend to another place. After seeing each show, I walk through those doors a better person. On the bleakest of days, when things aren't going as expected, I leave HCT with a smile and a song in my heart.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have just discovered HCT this past year. I have seen and thoroughly enjoyed Titantic, All Shook Up, Miracle On 34th Street, Santaland Diaries, and plan on attending The Nerd as well as Macbeth. My son and his family look forward to coming to Hickory from Virginia to see the plays also. They are very professionally done and rank right up there with what I have seen at Blumenthal in Charlotte, NC.

6

Board Member

Rating: 5

HCT continually selects productions that are challenging for directors, set design and staff in it's mission to be a roaring advocate for the arts. With each audition and production, new talent surfaces and develops over time and the community as a whole benefits. Performers become part of a family, perhaps beginning backstage at first until they "get the bug". Everyone finds themselves stretching their talents in cutting edge productions as well as those that the community readily identify with in popularity.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been absolutely delighted with every performance of the Hickory Community Theater that I have attended. My round trip is over 60 miles yet I still don't want to miss one play. The staff and volunteers are so dedicated and the actors and actresses unbeliveably professional but also such fun during the "meet and greet" after the show. The Fireman's Kichen downstairs is so unique, adorable and one feels they are a part of the play. I would recommend this theater to everyone! Susan Van Fleet

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am constantly amazed at the quality of the local talent which appears on the HCT stage. The shows are often ambitious and challenging, and I think it's incredible they can be staged by such a small organization.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first became involved with Hickory Community Theatre as an actor in "The Bat" in 1985. Charles Jeffers was not only the director but wore most all of the other hats that are associated with running a community theatre . We did not have space to rehearse at the theatre at that time and we rehearsed across town in an empty building upstairs .I became involved as a financial supporter for a while afterwards but lost all contact with HCT over the years as I concentrated on my career etc. I received a call in the summer of 2006 that was a "voice from the past " Mr Charles Jeffers and he needed another cast member for the show "1776" because the one that he had chosen had quit and the show was just weeks away from opening . I did the part and at that time I realized what I had been missing out on for those many years . I was again cast in another play " Walking Across Egypt" in 2007 and I knew then how special and meaningful being involved with HCT is . I decided to share my good fortune with HCT and was the first known person to make a substantial bequest to HCT . I wanted to do this because HCT is another word for "success" !! Hickory Community Theatre is successful for the community and for those individuals that choose to take part . Under the direction of Pamela Livingstone the theatre now encourages ethnic diversity and provides learning opportunities for all age groups with "Rugbug" shows for the little ones and "Senior Theatre" for those 55 and up .Volunteers are the heart and soul of our particular form of art. I have been involved as an actor , board member , substantial benefactor ,Guild member and a volunteer that works concessions . I take pleasure in knowing that I have had a small part in the success of HCT and in our region and that this success in turn has enriched my life.Leaving a bequest to HCT has ensured that this success will continue for HCT and the region long after I am gone . HCT is like a fine wine ... it just gets better and better throughout the years !! Happy 60th Anniversary HCT !!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

HCT is incredible! I have never been a theatre bug, but was invited to a play at HCT and was so impressed at the quality of acting. It has now become a place I take my friends for a night out on the town. I'm excited to see each new production! kw

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

How and where to begin? About 20 years ago, I was invited to volunteer with friends. It was my first experience with live theatre of any type. At the time Tina Jeffers was heavily involved, Sam Isenhower was the Volunteer Coordinator, and Charles Jeffers was Director, the show was "Fiddler on the Roof". Immediately I was taken in and made part of the HCT family. Needless to say my involvement has continued and grown, although I still pour drinks from time to time. I've just completed my eight show, performing small roles in "MacBeth". Today, I'm still part of the family. The staff has changed. Pam Livingstone the Artistic Director has an uncanny abilty... she sees grand visions and brings them to life on stage. Her talent for play selection and casting is wonderfully delightful. The result, actors from across NC come to audition and perform at HCT. John Rambo, the Managing Director and is more the public face of HCT, his community involvment has led to new producers and increased community awareness. Attend any of the mainstage productions during our 60th Anniversary and see his efforts in the pre-show videos! Charles Jeffers whom I mentioned before is now Artistic Director Emeritus...his 40 year plus tenure speaks for itself, BRAVO! Christine Stinson, has to be one of my favorite people ever. Surprisingly like Sam Isenhower as volunteer coordinator she tells it like it is and gets the job done with a smile. Clay James the Technical Director, the best way to describe him....hmmmmmm? Just come see any show and be amazed by the quality of the sets. This of course is just my humble opinion. Come be a part of the family of HCT, it's easy...volunteer, act, or just see a show!!! See you at the theatre.