Learn about A Repertory Theatre, whose mission is to produce plays for fundraisers for nonprofit or charities in the community. Hear from Dr. Mary Kay Switzer about how she's taking this unique company to another location in Arizona, along with its founding home in Beaumont, California.
You founded A Repertory Theatre (ART) in 2010. What need did you see in your area to motivate you to start a theatre company?
My group of supporters urged me to develop a theatre to help the various charities in our area. All our proceeds go to a specific charity for each performance.
ART now has a location in Arizona. Can you describe the relationship between the two ART companies? What is unique about theatre production or other theatre aspects in CA versus AZ?
In Arizona, I am working with various senior groups who want to help society. Guest directors are carrying the theatre program forward in CA. I am the primary director in Arizona. We compare notes on production suggestions.
Describe your audience - visitors, locals, etc?
Our audience is varied with diverse attendees--mostly locals.
How do you get to know your audience on a personal level?
The cast and crew meet with the audience members after each show.
What kind of support do you have from your community for your community theatre?
We are fortunate to have extensive support from our community.
Have you worked with or been involved with any other California community theatre?
I started two other theatrical production companies. From time to time, ART does a guest appearance with these. Neither of these other theatre groups present plays as fundraisers for charities and other worthwhile causes.
What do you think 'makes' community theatre community theatre?
Community theatre typically involves members of the community as volunteers. In ART's case, we also do these plays as fundraisers to help various nonprofit groups or charities in the community. So the support is mutually rewarding.