Archive for the ‘ Producer’s Corner ’ Category

Four Years Ago Today…

Four years ago today Plaza Theatre Company was born. That’s right, today is PlazaCo’s 4th birthday. On April 26th, 2007, Plaza Theatre Company opened full-time with a performance of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN. Here’s a look at that inaugural cast from the lobby of our first building:

We were thrilled to be playing to 16 people that night. And over the course of a 19 show run we played to nearly 350 people. Yep, when you do the math that means we averaged 18 patrons a performance. One night, we played to over 20 – we were ecstatic.

Suffice it to say we’ve grown a little since those humble beginnings. Here are a few notable accomplishments from our first four years in business:

  • Plaza’s current production, HARVEY, is its 43rd Mainstage production.
  • Plaza sports over 900 Season Ticket Holders and nearly 30,000 patrons annually into its 150 seat theatre.
  • Plaza was named “Best Theatre Group” by readers of the Fort Worth Weekly in 2008.
  • Plaza received 32 nominations and 10 wins at the 2009 Column Awards including Best non-Equity Musical for AIDA.
  • Plaza’s Youth Acting Classes, Plaza Academy, have taught almost 500 students.
  • Plaza moved into a brand new facility in August of 2008.
  • Plaza received 41 nominations and 17 wins at the 2010 Column Awards including Best non-Equity musical for INTO THE WOODS (a first in Column Awards history to win Best Musical back-to-back).
  • Plaza Theatre Company was named “Best Theatre Company” in North Texas by voters in the WFAA A-List.

In four years of existence, PlazaCo has seen over 85,000 patrons walk through it’s doors – quite an achievement after those first special 16 on our opening night four years ago.

Of course, the contributions of so many have helped PlazaCo get to where we are on our 4th birthday. To the Board Members, the Downtown Cleburne Association, Donors, Volunteers, Directors, Musicians, Designers, Technicians, Actors, Season Ticket Holders, Patrons we say THANK YOU. We never could have made it this far without the contributions of each and every one of you.

We are honored to be an important part of what makes Cleburne great, and we are looking forward to another spectacular year. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

PlazaCo founders and Producers JaceSon & Tina Barrus and Aaron & Milette Siler

PlazaCo’s 2012 Season ANNOUNCED!

Last night marked Plaza’s 4th birthday. And as is tradition, PlazaCo celebrated the event with it’s annual “Thank You Party”. Look here later today for a video of the evening’s performances and wonderful attendees. Part of the event, however, is to announce the following year’s season of shows – and last night was no exception. Plaza producers Aaron and Milette Siler and JaceSon and Tina Barrus unveiled Plaza Theatre Company’s 2012 Season to those in attendance. But you can read about the season right here.

So without further ado, Plaza Theatre Company’s 2012 Season of Plays:

THE FOREIGNER ~ December 31st thru January 28th (Directed by Luke Hunt)

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF ~ February 3rd thru March 10th (Directed by Jodie and Soni Barrus)

THE DROWSY CHAPERONE ~ March 16th thru April 14th (Directed by Kyle Macy)

THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE ~ April 20th thru May 12th (Directed by Taffy Geisel)

GUYS AND DOLLS ~ May 18th thru June 23rd (Directed by Jay Lewis)

WEST SIDE STORY ~ June 29th thru August 4th (Directed by JaceSon and Tina Barrus)

FOREVER PLAID ~ August 10th thru September 8th (Directed by Kyle and Megan Adams)

ARSENIC AND OLD LACE ~ September 14th thru August 6th (Directed by Kevin Poole)

RAGTIME ~ October 12th thru November 10th (Directed by Aaron and Milette Siler)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL ~ November 16th thru December 22nd (Directed by Christine Atwell)

There they are – all 10 amazing shows. 2012 will be a blast at PlazaCo.

Here they are all stacked up:

Thanks to all who came last night, and Happy Birthday Plaza!

Today’s Poll Question – YOUR Favorites

Our current production, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL, is the 42nd show we’ve produced since beginning in April of 2007. Of course we’ve grown since those humble beginnings almost 4 years ago (we celebrate PlazaCo’s 4th birthday next week) and we know which shows have been the most popular from a sales standpoint. We also know which shows have won awards and garnered praise from the artistic community. AND each of us (the JTAM) have our own personal favorites as well. But since we’re here on the eve of unveiling our 2012 season, as well as the show that will be a wonderful milestone for us, our 5oth production, we thought we’d like to hear what y’all think.

Please realize we are equally proud of every show we’ve put in front of Plaza audiences, but we’re sure you have a few that stand out as favorite to you – so lets hear ’em.

Listed below in random order, are all 42 shows (minus any we’ve repeated) since we opened. Please choose your 3 favorites in each category (we’ve separated Comedies and Musicals into 2 different categories). Please only vote if you’re trying to help us out with honest answers – playing around with the poll messes up the data. Thank you for your help.


Combining 2 things we love – The Scarlet Pimpernel and Disney

So, we came across this video and simply had to share it. This is one of the outstanding songs from THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL synced with video of many of Disney’s well-known male characters. Enjoy.

Oh, and if you haven’t reserved for THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL yet – now is the time. Only two weekends left to find out “Who IS the Scarlet Pimpernel”. Call 817-202-0600 to reserve today!

P.S. – We aren’t taking credit for making this video – we just thought it very clever.

Producer’s Corner – How a small theatre like PlazaCo produces a GIANT show like The Scarlet Pimpernel

Several times recently, due perhaps to some increased recognition in our theatrical community, PlazaCo has been referred to as “a big theatre”. These references came as a result of our recent Column Awards as well as our success of being named “Best Theatre Group” in North Texas by the WFAA A-List. We are about to celebrate our 4th birthday and our patronage and talent pool have increased steadily during the course of the 42 productions we have produced during that timeframe.

However, the phrase “big theatre” has given us some thought. Not that we don’t find the reference a little flattering. But to us, a “big theatre” would have to be one where there are large (and perhaps paid) technical, box office and artistic staff. Where the talent, both onstage and backstage, is compensated for their time.

PlazaCo has nearly none of these things. We are a community theatre – and we are proud of that fact. In that regard, we are the smallest of the small in the theatre world. So I wanted to take a second today to write a bit about how a “small theatre” like PlazaCo can produce a GIANT show like The Scarlet Pimpernel.

There are many areas that must be considered with each production. These include: Royalties (the rights to produce a certain title), Music (if the show is a Musical, can a suitable track, or in lieu of that, musicians be obtained), Production Team (the artists responsible for creating and guiding the performance part of a production such as The Director, The Assistant Director, The Stage Manager, The Choreographer, The Musical Director), Design Team (the team responsible for the design aspects of the show such as Lighting Design, Set Design, Prop Design, Costume Design and Sound Design), Auditions and Casting (are you capable of filling all necessary roles with the talent available to you), Rehearsal Process and Scheduling, Cast Relations, etc.

Each production is a massive undertaking unto itself, and here at Plaza, since part of our charter is to be open every weekend of the year, we produce 10 different shows a year. When you consider that another part of our charter is to keep ticket prices as affordable as possible, you can imagine how much begging, borrowing and scrounging that we do.

Take, for example, The Scarlet Pimpernel. The show is set in 1792, during the height of the Reign of Terror in The French Revolution. Already you can tell these are not costumes, scenery pieces or props that we’re going to be able run down to Walmart or the Goodwill to pick up. Each piece, whether it’s a prop like wine tankards, or a costume like Margeurite’s Ball Gown, or a set piece like the footbridge outside the ball – HAS to be believable for the era in which the show is set. One out-of-place soldier uniform, or soldier musket, or gavotte mask and the entire illusion we’re trying to create of 1792 comes crashing down.

We are blessed that hundreds of people have contributed to help make The Scarlet Pimpernel work at PlazaCo. And the truth is, there are thousands contributing at small community theatre’s just like Plaza all over the country. We love being a part of this brotherhood of community theatre’s – pulling for each other, supporting each other when possible and striving together to bring as much excellence as possible to each production we mount.

Here at Plaza, we are in the midst of playing The Scarlet Pimpernel for 19 performances. We are also in the middle of rehearsals for our next production, Harvey, and we’re set to cast our May/June production, Hello Dolly!, on Saturday. We are also about to present our 4th annual “Thank You Party” in conjunction with our 4th birthday on April 12th and we’re looking forward to a summer of kids and teen acting camps as we prepare for our annual Camp Show which is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat this year.

Bottom line, we’re busy. And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Happy Birthday to …… US!

That’s right y’all, we’re coming up on our exciting 4th BIRTHDAY here at PlazaCo. We opened our doors full time here in Cleburne on April 26th, 2007 with a production of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN, CHARLIE BROWN. Audiences started out small but have grown steadily and it’s amazing to look back at our history and see all we’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time here in Cleburne. Of course our rapid growth and critical success wouldn’t be possible without the support and hard work of a wonderful group of actors, volunteers, directors, designers, technicians, artists and musicians who volunteer to help make Plaza the best community theatre that we can be. Our gratitude and appreciation for their generosity is unsurpassed and we always look forward to this time of year at PlazaCo when we say “Thank You” to this awesome group of people.

It’s time for our annual “Thank You Party” at PlazaCo! This event marks Plaza’s birthday, as well as gives Plaza producers the opportunity to say “thanks” to everyone who contributed to Plaza success over the last year’s worth of shows. This year, everyone who worked on the following list of shows, whether as an actor, volunteer, director, designer, technician, artist or musician is invited to join us Plaza for the annual “Thank You Party”.

  • Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
  • Cheaper by the Dozen
  • All Shook Up
  • Into The Woods
  • Smoke on the Mountain Homecoming
  • Over the River and Through the Woods
  • A Christmas Carol
  • Man With the Pointed Toes
  • Annie Get Your Gun
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Harvey

Shortly, all who participated in the above productions, will receive an invitation in the mail. Simply follow the instructions to R.S.V.P. to the event. An R.S.V.P. is REQUIRED to attend and must be made by April 7th when the Box Office closes at 6pm. Each invited guest may bring one guest of their own to be included on their R.S.V.P. Dress is semi-formal to formal.

The event is being held at Plaza Theatre Company (and surrounding buildings) on Tuesday, April 12th starting at 6:30pm. A meal will be served that evening starting at 6:30 after which guests will enjoy an evening looking back at the last year’s worth of shows before being the first to see Plaza’s 2012 season unveiled.

The Plaza “Thank You Party” is always an enjoyable and relaxing evening. If you were a participant in one of the past year’s worth of shows listed, we look forward to seeing you this year for our 4th annual birthday celebration.

A slideshow of photos from THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL

Here is a slideshow of Plaza Theatre Company’s current production of THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL. The show plays now thru April 16th – tickets are available by calling the Plaza Box Office at 817-202-0600. Enjoy!