By: Stefany Olivas, Managing Editor
The Box and Cardboard Playhouse Theater Company will be hosting a fundraiser to raise money for productions to play throughout 2013, said Film Technician graduate and President of The Box Board of Directors Carissa Mitchell.
The Dec. 15 fundraiser will be held at Art Bar, formerly Jazzbah on Gold Street, with live performances and food, she said.
“At this time of year we are looking for some charitable donations. We try to really come from a place of strength. It’s an important thing to have theater that’s available for everyone to see,” she said.
The Cardboard Playhouse is important because it is an efficient and affordable alternative outlet for children to be involved, she said.
“I became a board member because I really loved what they were doing and the reasons they were having this theater. It just really sold me on it,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell and her daughter have been a part of The Box Theater performance community for almost one year, she said.
Participating with the company has given her child self-esteem, confidence and a place to belong, she said.
“That turned into a place for me to belong as well. It’s become one of my life goals to see this theater thrive,” said Mitchell.
The Box does not charge the actors to be in play productions, so they rely on ticket sales, grants and donations for funding, she said. If the theater does not receive enough funding for both venues, the Cardboard Playhouse will be the primary focus , she said.
“We just did an Indiegogo campaign and we raised a little bit of money. We really would love people to be able to donate to our organization in order to keep it running,” she said.
Kristen Berg and Doug Montoya have managed and owned The Box since 2007, said Berg.
On top of a bad economy, funding is being pulled from many of community art programs, she said. Many non-profits, including The Box, are struggling to stay open.
They are already planning several 2013 shows, but there is no guarantee that they will be able to fund all of them, said Berg.
“Because we just became a 501c 3 non-profit, we don’t have the track record that a lot of other organizations do, so when they apply for a grant it’s much more likely for them to get approved for that,” she said.
The Box member Erin Hanisee and her two daughters have been participating in performances at The Box for five years, she said.
“My oldest daughter was in her first play five years ago. I saw an advertisement for an audition for Sleeping Beauty and she loved princesses then so she came and tried out,” said Hanisee.
She likes the way the company teaches her daughters about theater and the venue is the perfect setting, she said.
“They were so shy when they first started and now they have no trouble auditioning. I think they do that for all the children and they give them a chance to perform,” said Hanisee.
Fifteen-year-old Tauby Mintz has been performing since she was six years old and has been with the company for one year and six productions, she said. After only one month of rehearsal for Disney Winnie the Pooh Kids, she has made many new close friends, she said.
“We started at the beginning of November and rehearsed four days a week for four weeks. I met people and I’m best friends with them now after just a month,” said Mintz.
She likes that The Box has an intimate atmosphere, she said. The venue gives kids a productive after-school alternative, she said.
She does not have to pay for the scriptor performances and that is helpful to her, she said.
“I like that it’s not super fancy and I love that we can goof around just enough. It’s so much fun and the people here are really nice and welcoming,” she said.
What: “Music of the Night”
When: Saturday, Dec. 15. at 7 p.m.
Where: 119 Gold St. SW. Art Bar, formerly JazzBah