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Ogunquit Playhouse Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Single Organization Support

Mission: The ogunquit playhouse foundation is organized for charitable and educational purposes as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the ogunquit playhouse experience for present and future generations by maintaining and preserving the ogunquit playhouse facilities in conformance with the national register of historic places and standards, and insuring its continuation as a functioning playhouse, providing and promoting high-quality on-going performing arts programs in keeping with ogunquit's historic tradition, promoting education and cultural programs and events for the public that will benefit the performing arts, and raising and soliciting financial and other resources necessary to accomplish our objectives.

Programs: In 2014 the ogunquit playhouse turned 82 years old, continuing its glorious legacy as one of the great theaters still surviving from the era when summer theater was one of the most popular forms of entertainment in the country. Today, world class theater remains strong at the ogunquit playhouse. The 2014 season included five professional productions of broadway musicals, two special one week productions presented offsite at the music hall in portsmouth, nh and the children's theater series. 113,350 patrons saw our on-site shows during the 2014 season, which spanned 23 weeks from mid-may to late october, our longest season to date. Thousands more saw our two offsite productions, extending the season into december for the first holiday show in the ogunquit playhouse's history. In addition to single ticket buyers, the ogunquit playhouse ended the season with 463 members and 2,738 five-show season subscribers and 938 three-show subscribers. Social media and internet outlets engaged thousands of playhouse enthusiasts over the year with 22,791 facebook fans, 2,239 twitter followers, 37,323 e-newsletter subscribers and over 405,241 visitors to the website. The 2014 season began with grease, the quintessential rock n' roll musical about teenage angst and first loves. Comedic actress and television star mo gaffney joined the cast as miss lynch for the five-week run which attracted audiences of all ages and exceeded box office expectations. Next on stage was the powerful and electrifying, ten-time tony award winning billy elliot the musical. Members of the original broadway creative team, director bt mcnicholl, (resident director for the broadway production), and choreographer adam pelty (resident choreographer for the original broadway touring company) joined forces to mount this monumental show for the ogunquit playhouse. Campbell baird was engaged to design a new set that was built by the ogunquit technical team. Because the ogunquit playhouse was one of the first regional theatres in the u. S. To produce billy elliot, mr. Baird's set was the first re-imagining since the original broadway set was created. Industry leading flying experts flying by foy were hired to ensure the iconic ballet scene that sent billy elliot soaring high above the stage was both safe and awe inspiring. This inspirational story of a young boy's struggle against the odds to make his dream come true brought record breaking audiences to the theatre and became the best-selling show in playhouse history. The third musical of the season was mary poppins the musical and flying by foy was contracted once again to allow the beloved nanny to magically fly across the stage and over the audience, and for the charming chimney sweep bert to tap dance up along the procinium's three sides, who at one point was tap dancing upside down 25 feet above the stage floor. Special equipment was installed over the theatre auditorium to allow mary poppins to fly over the audience to the far corner of the house and land on a new balcony platform built exclusively for this purpose. The ogunquit playhouse remounted mary poppins the musical in december at the music hall in portsmouth, new hampshire for the holidays. Again, audiences flocked to enjoy the show, this time with an added holiday surprise - falling snow over the audience. For the third show the ogunquit playhouse was selected by cameron mackintosh to be the american northeast premiere of the musical the witches of eastwick. Two-time emmy award and golden globe-winner sally struthers joined the cast for this bewitching tale and once again brought the house down with her comedic ability. An all broadway cast starred in the lead roles - nancy anderson, mamie parris and sarah gettelfinger portrayed three bored housewives wishing for the man of their dreams. James barbour played the devilish darryl van horne who arrived in eastwick to stir things up. Being the first fully-staged production of the show in the u. S. , set designer michael schweikardt was engaged to create the new england town of eastwick for the ogunquit stage. Director shaun kerrison and musical director julian bigg, both of whom worked with cameron mackintosh in london and around the world were selected to helm the ogunquit production. The show received stellar reviews from both critics and audiences, once again exceeding box office expectations. The season closed with the addams family broadway musical. The musical, which is based on the frightfuly delightful world created by cartoonist charles addams, came to life on stage just in time for october. This full scale musical featured broadway stars rachel debenedet and david engel as morticia and gomez. Along with a stellar supporting cast, original broadway sets and costumes, audiences were once again enthralled. 2014 ended as the most successful season in ogunquit playhouse history. In addition to the main stage musicals, the ogunquit playhouse offered audiences opportunities to engage with the theatre on a more intimate level. Each of the five main stage shows included a post-show talk back session. The cast lined up on stage to answer questions posed by audience members about their personal experiences with the show. Two panel discussions moderated by a playhouse staff member were created to give audiences an opportunity to meet members of the creative teams of billy elliot and the witches of eastwick. Following a matinee performance of billy elliot, the associate producer posed in depth questions to the director bt mcnicholl and choreographer adam pelty. Audience members heard first-hand how this inspirational show was interpreted for the ogunquit playhouse stage, as well as stories of how the young dancers trained for their roles, the inside scoop on the special effects, and a behind-the-scenes look at the show's journey from film to the west end to broadway, and then to the ogunquit playhouse. The director of marketing and public relations moderated the panel discussion for witches of eastwick, which focused the spotlight on director shaun kerrison, choreographer lisa stevens, costume designer dustin cross and composer dana p. Rowe. Through this discussion, audiences learned what it took to create a major musical from film to the west end, then on to international productions and then to the ogunquit playhouse. Backstage tours were offered throughout the season as well, giving the public an opportunity to learn about the inner workings of the theatre, see behind the scenes, and learn about its storied past.

children's theater. Children's theater at the ogunquit playhouse included four productions by the junior players camp, which is a tuition-based learning camp for ages 9 to 15 that culminates in fully staged musical productions often to sold-out audiences. The one and two-week long camps identify, strengthen and enhance each students performance skills, self-esteem and self-expression. Students receive vocal, movement and acting training while preparing to perform before a live audience. In 2014 jack and the beanstalk, disney's cinderella, kids, disney's peter pan, jr. And the magic tree house: dinosaurs before dark were performed. The children's theatre camps also include a program for children ages 5 to 8. The rising stars camps are week long sessions that introduce students to the theater arts, combining fun and educational games with instruction. Students learn basic staging, music and choreography with an emphasis on group performance in a supportive and nurturing atmosphere. At the end of the week the children perform for family and friends in the manhattan theatre colony studio, an on-site, equity-standard building, where main stage rehearsals and children camps take place. The ogunquit playhouse foundation raises scholarship funds each year, ensuring that every child may participate in our children's theatre programs.

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