• Players by the Sea

State of the Theatre - October 2019

A program that is touching lives and bringing theatre to life – backstage. Players by the Sea has a theatre education program that introduces young girls at risk to the backstage magic created by set and lighting designers, prop masters, scenic artists and costumers.

The ladies from It's a Girl Thing! in Jacksonville had a blast with our staff and creative team of lovely ladies!

Creativity Behind the Curtain. It’s a one of a kind program not experienced anywhere else in Northeast Florida. It’s time the community heard more about this program that connects our work to other nonprofits. Players works closely with PACE Center for Girls, Junior Achievement and It’s a Girl Thing!, inviting their girls into the theatre for a hands-on workshop opportunity. The girls see women leading an arts organization as management, box office, front of house hospitality, and marketing. Their theatre experience is like none other – the attendees hear the stage manager call the show and watch lights change, curtains open to see and hear a brief performance.

Attending theatre is a cultural arts experience that needs to be more accessible to everyone, from every community. These young girls aren’t just attending, they are participating in and talking to the women who lead the technical area. Lunch is shared and conversation exchanged with theatre professionals, now mentors to the participants.

To know your skills and connect them to art, you have to dig in! The last part of the workshop is a hands-on creative immersion into painting skills used in theatre, how to use equipment, creating a prop and visiting the costume shop to explore building a costume design.

Every young girl that participates is engaged. The excitement we see from their first steps into the theatre to their wide smiles and questions, is a dramatic change achieved in less than three hours – all from direct personal involvement with them in a theatre. Now that’s magical!

Board President, Kris Jackson, poses with It's a Girl Thing attendee at showing of The Wiz.

Our final gift to the girls – we give them ticket vouchers in hopes they will return to see a show. Not just one ticket, but five – I want to encourage them to bring family and friends that they can introduce to theatre because … they know something special about the Creativity Behind the Curtain.

It works. This is our year-end fundraising campaign. Thank you to those who have already made a gift of support, but we need your help to keep producing this program each month. Community First Cares Foundation is our technical education sponsor this coming year. Let’s match their gift! Give to support Creativity Behind the Curtain with a gift before year-end.


C. Suzanne Hudson-Smith, CFRE

Executive Director

P.S. Season Memberships are always available for the remainder of the Season 54!

For Halloween, Players by the Sea has a special event the first Saturday performance of The Toxic Avenger – read more about our Halloween Kick-off Party and join me on Saturday, October 26!

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