Twelfth Night Productions Programs
TNP’s signature production is our annual summer musical involving 50 or more actors; a full pit orchestra; lighting, set, and costume designers; and community members from all over the Puget Sound wishing to participate in the performing arts. It is within the context of this production that our mission to provide mentorship opportunities and enriching arts education experiences for people of all ages really shines. In 2009 we formalized an apprenticeship program, inviting our high school and college aged members to work closely with a senior member of our organization to learn about a specific craft during our summer musical. The program is free for all participants and each summer students are trained in lighting design, arts marketing, directing, stage management and a number of additional performing arts related tasks.
In addition to providing mentorship opportunities for students, TNP has a commitment to lifelong learning. We believe that the importance of an arts education does not end simply because a person is no longer in school. To that end, TNP invites community members of all ages and stages in life to join us and learn from the more seasoned members of our organization. During our summer productions, company members have learned the art of costuming from a professional costume artist; lighting design from a working professional lighting designer; tap dancing from a Broadway performing choreographer; and directing from our very own Artistic Director. Our inclusive and collaborative approach to theater production creates room in our organization for anyone with a desire to work hard. Each year, our community grows as we gain members who are working artists in the community, as well as members who wish to dip their toes into the performing arts world.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2010 the rental costs for our summer production tripled from $5,000 in 2009 to $15,000 in 2010. The increase in rental costs was unforeseen and posed a challenge for increasing ticket revenue to match the new need. At the close of the summer production, TNP developed some strategic plans to ensure that we were better prepared for fee increases in the future.
Our strategic plan included exploring less expensive venues and selecting productions that are more sustainable to produce and have a broad audience appeal. We have been unable to move the summer production due to the size and the scope of that show, but we were able to collaborate with historic Kenyon Hall, and in the winter of 2010 we began an annual holiday tradition with “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.” The radio play is a wonderful way to stretch our creative muscles in a manner that is also sustainable. With an affordable production value, due to the limited set and prop needs, the radio play also provides a wide audience appeal. TNP’s 2010 production was so successful that we brought it back in 2011 and expanded on the concept in 2012 with “A Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Radio Play.”
The most pressing need for Twelfth Night Productions at the moment is to find a permanent storage and rehearsal space. We have a lease for some space in White Center, but that property will soon be sold and it is unclear if we will be able to keep the space. We are currently looking in both White Center and West Seattle for a new permanent space.