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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Paraphrase Productions

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Theater

Mission: To shine a new light on theater through peer-to-peer mentoring of young adult artists in theatrical performance and creative excellence.

Results: What started as a group of friends has become one of the Monterey Peninsula's most rapidly growing nonprofit theater companies, offering theatrical experience in a creative and nurturing environment for young artists. Paraphrase's first year saw one production at a 80 seat venue, and has progressed to three productions in one summer--some of which housed over 350 audience members.

Target demographics: Youth and young adults passionate about theatrical expression

Geographic areas served: Monterey, CA

Programs: Three productions a year, stage management and directing mentorship programs, and opportunities to educate aspiring artists in the craft of theater

Community Stories

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Paraphrase does well at teaching its cast and crew the skills necessary for thriving in the industry as well rounded professionals, all while still maintaining a fun-filled, lighthearted atmosphere. The Paraphrase team is brimming with welcoming, kind, hard-working individuals. There is something truly special about this company.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

We were very pleasantly surprised with the professionalism of the production, acting, singing and costumes for The Man of La Mancha and Pippen. I believe the formula of mentoring, volunteerism and commitment to excellence of everyone evolved will make Paraphrase Productions a huge success in the coming years. It will be the place to be to demonstrate what you have learned from formal and informal training and experiences in all avenues of theater.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed for many years both large and small theater productions in Southern California. Although told by two people I respect that Man of La Mancha and Pippen were very good the level of professionalism and talent I witnessed that weekend was remarkable. It was evident from the early minutes until the emotional endings when many, including myself came to our feet. Kudos to the surprising small guys who made it a great evening!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Paraphrase is run by a bunch of young, but experienced people. Everything they do is so professional, and they really give back to the community and provide great opportunities to get involved. I can't wait to see what they do next!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Paraphrase Productions is one of the most masterful and organized theater groups in the area. Their leadership and ambition to strive for quality community theater produces talent comprable to most professional shows I've seen. I eagerly await the next Paraphrase show, and you can bet I will be in the audience!

--Anthony

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Coming out of high school, I was prepared to leave behind all thoughts of trying to do something related to theatre. I wanted to be full into the major I was going into, but my yearning to still be apart of the theatre community only grew. I searched for ways to be involved, but I only came to stops in the road because no one wanted someone who only had 4 years of training. Not Paraphrase, they gave me the chance of a life time to work on their show The Addams Family Musical by doing music cues and sound. It was such a fun experience, and was able to really utilize talents I thought were not related to this job. Even when I didn't get to help out this summer with Pippin or Man of La Mancha, I could tell that everyone's specific quirk really helped them portray their roles, no matter how big or small. and OH DO NOT GET ME STARTED ON THE COMMUNITY IN THIS GROUP. They are so solid and try to make everyone feel like family. They are truly amazing.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Paraphrase Productions has created something truly wonderful for actors in the Monterey Bay area. I have been with Paraphrase for 3 years now, and I can confidently say that auditioning for Little Shop was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only does this company produce fantastic pieces of art, but they work tirelessly to create an evironment in which cast and crew members bond and learn from each other. From Paraphrase I have gained a second family, and 3 amazing summers. I look forward to seeing where Paul, Andy, and Victoria take Paraphrase Productions.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When I entered the very pretty Carmel Forest Theater, I expected a pleasant community theater production of "Man of La Mancha".
"Pleasant" turned out to be an understatement.
This execution of the classic was EXCEPTIONAL. One of my favorite theater experiences ever. No kidding.
The acting, especially by the three leads, was right on point. The singing was mesmerizing. The whole flow and timing of the play was engaging; it seemed to go by in a half hour.
I'm from Los Angeles and have no qualms about driving up there again next year.
My hat's off to the director, cast, and crew.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started working with Paraphrase Productions in summer 2017. It is an absolute joy to work with Paraphrase because everyone's passion for theatre arts and education overflows into all that they do. I was blown away when I got the chance to see Pippin and Man of La Mancha. The impact that Paraphrase Productions has in the local community as a place where excellence, friendships, and personal and professional growth happen is clear to see.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Outstanding professionalism and talent coming from these young college age adults! These two 2017 summer productions-"Man of La Mancha" and "Pippin", well surpass the larger productions we have seen in the LA area. Across the board-from the actors to directors, producers, stage managers-this production company is a well deserved 5 stars. Looking forward to their next season!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When someone says a person or group "has potential," I usually get the impression it's just a nice way of saying "not that great." However, when I say Paraphrase Productions "has potential," I mean to say that, if they can accomplish all the incredible things they have with the few resources they currently have, they have SUCH great potential to accomplish SO MUCH more given just some more resources.

I was a member of the pit band for Paraphrase's production of Pippin, and it was incredible seeing the show come together from its humble beginnings. The cast was so diverse in their talents and what was most intriguing was seeing the large age span of the actors involved. This intrigued me because I remember my days playing trumpet in middle school and looking up to all the "big kids" in high school who were far more advanced than myself. I could look up to them and they could mentor me in my studies. Then, all of a sudden, I was the "big kid" in high school mentoring the middle schoolers who all looked up to me. This is exactly the kind of mentoring experience that can and does happen in Paraphrase shows. It's a beautiful thing to watch and see everyone's hard work come to fruition in a professional-quality show, and I hope to see many more years of Paraphrase shows!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What can I say about Paraphrase Productions? From the time I auditioned until the end of the load-out, I have been so impressed with the professionalism of Paul, Andy, Victoria, Sierra, Justin, Jerrod and the rest.
First the auditions were extremely well organized. No time was wasted, and the process was efficient and relaxed, the auditioners encouraging and supportive. Callbacks were also well done. What impressed me most
was being asked to improvise during the callbacks--i.e. asking me to put Ty (Pippin) on my lap, asking another actor to play it as if blind. Very cool! It invited us to stretch and may have given Paul some idea of how well we could take direction.
Then, during rehearsals, one thing I noticed that I had never seen before in community theater was Paul's use of large pieces of paper, posted on the walls of the rehearsal space, with the set design on them--birdseye view--and his use of small post-it notes to identify the actors, which, presumably, he could move around if he wished to change the blocking.
Paul's ability to work with other theaters such as Paper Wing and the Forest Theater Guild guaranteed Paraphrase venues in which to perform, and his insistence upon recognizing these theaters, when posting pictures, for example, went a long way toward cementing relationships with them for the future. (Also, I don't know how he arranged it, but the rehearsal space he provided for us was ideal.)
I know from past experience that getting tax exempt status is not necessarily an easy process. Paraphrase has successfully navigated it, at least in part by making the mentoring program such an essential aspect of the company. The mentorees were significantly part of the rehearsal and production process of both Pippin and La Mancha, in preparation for their own production of The Glass Menagerie at the end of the summer.
Both Paul and Andy were wonderful directors, with vision and "people skills" enabling them to elicit the very best performances from their actors. Both were also excellent at delegating and trusting their crews so they could focus on directing.
Everything was so professional! Even the programs, which other theaters often run off on a xerox machine, were polished, artistic, and worthy of Broadway--glossy and in color. May not seem like much of a much, but it surely impressed me!
Before rehearsals even began, Paraphrase presented a fundraising program worthy of a full-fledged, polished production, free, but accepting donations. It speaks to the quality of the performance that they were able to raise enough money to begin to fund the shows.
The fact that the eight performances--4 each of Pippin and La Mancha--were presented to nearly sold out houses speaks volumes about their excellence. Word of mouth as well as aggressive pre-production publicity, passing out posters and cards, all done by the casts and crews, resulted in packed audiences. I understand that the Forest Outdoor Theater has never before had such large attendance.
Bottom line, I have never been so impressed by a theater company, and I hope so much to be a part of their future productions. Thank you so much, Paul and Andy.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Paraphrase has been such a blessing in my life over the years. I have been with Paraphrase since its beginnings in 2015 and each production has allowed me to grow more and more in my artistic abilities. The fact that I am able to work with such talented individuals in a field that I love has kept my drive for Theater alive.

Paraphrase is truly set apart from other theater companies on the peninsula. We have actors from every walk of life and place of experience come together to create beautiful works of art that audience members are able to be inspired by.

For many theater companies Production Quality and Education are in a constant battle. Shows where Production Quality is the most important factor tend to lose that aspect of learning which is so important in theater. On the flip side, shows that are only intended to educate actors can be unbearable to watch. For Paraphrase, however, Production Quality and Education are BOTH at the forefront of the creative teams. We are able to create shows that blow people's minds and teach new actors the ropes.

All in all, Paraphrase Productions has been one of the most important catalysts for growth in my life and I can't wait to see where it is going to go!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Paraphrase Productions produces excellent work and fosters an accepting environment for those still finding their way with their art. I have had the pleasure of working with these incredible artist for the past three summers and it is astounding how much work the creative team puts into these shows. This theater company has a rare atmosphere of having high expectations of their performers while cultivating a low stress rehearsal space, both of which I believe is essential to putting together great theater.

The executive members of Paraphrase surprise me each summer in their ability to improve exponentially with every new venture. They do not stay stagnant in their professionalism or artistic capabilities. These directors learn from their mistakes and are not afraid to listen to their actors. This is a feat which requires great temperament and humility which is scarce in this theater community.

Simply said, Paraphrase is a breath of fresh air. These young artists will keep getting more ambitious and more hungry every season and I am eager to see this non-profit succeed.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is so great to work with a theater company that genuine cares about each member of their cast and crew. Paraphrase makes you feel valued and important--and they create such an awesome environment for growth and learning!