Newtown High School’s March musical production may be months off, but NHS Choral Director Jane Matson has her sight set on the “second star to the right,” with hopes that sponsors can be found to cover costs.
Ms Matson said sponsors are needed as soon as possible for the school’s planned production of Peter Pan, based on the story by the same name by J. M. Barrie.
Ms Matson said she chose Peter Pan for its family friendly and uplifting tone. It is a good time, she says, to provide a show that is accessible for the whole family, like the high school’s 2011 production of Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
While the high school does not always perform shows that are “G-Rated,” Ms Matson said with a nod to 2012’s production of Sweeney Todd, she said she feels it is the perfect time to provide a show everyone can enjoy.
Plus, Peter Pan, she said, will be something happy to look forward to happy for Newtown’s children. The show is set to run March 20-23, with 7 pm shows March 20-22 and a 2 pm show on March 23. Ticket prices have not been set yet, as Ms Matson said she does not know how much will be needed to help cover the costs of the production. In 2013, tickets for the NHS productions of How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying were $16 for general admission, and $12 for students and senior citizens.
There is no money budgeted for the productions each year, Ms Matson explained. There are some stipend positions covered for advisors, and last year the NHS Choral Parents group helped fund advisor positions. Otherwise, Ms Matson said the sale of tickets and selling advertisements in the printed programs for the shows cover the costs of the productions.
Production costs can typically add up to $30,000, Ms Matson estimated, and Peter Pan, with four characters that will need to fly in the show, will need an extra $10,000 for harnesses, rigging, and equipment. For safety, Ms Matson said a single company will be hired to provide what is needed to “fly.”
Unlike some other high school’s musical and drama productions, NHS does not hire an outside pit ensemble. Student musicians learn the pieces for the shows each year, and that, as Ms Matson pointed out, can be a heavy learning load for students. Every year, the NHS choral director said, all of the students — from the orchestra to the crew — rise to the challenge.
“The kids of this community are incredibly talented,” said Ms Matson.
When NHS senior Mitchell Girgasky saw a production of Sweeney Todd at another high school last year, he learned how that school used corporate sponsors to provide a great program. He brought his ideas back to Ms Matson, she said. In the past, NHS parent Carla Kron has also brought up the idea of finding corporate sponsors to help cover costs of productions, according to Ms Matson.
“I thought this was the year to get moving on that,” said Ms Matson.
Anyone interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor for the high school’s production of Peter Pan can email Ms Matson directly at MatsonJ@newtown.k12.ct.us.
The high school’s talented casts, orchestra members, and “one of the best crews ever,” deserve to be showcased, Ms Matson said.
She also explained sponsors can choose to cover the cost of a specific part of the show, like the roughly $10,000 needed for flight, or they can give any amount they wish to the show in general.
Ms Matson said she is finalizing ideas about providing special advertisements in the show’s program and possibly putting together a slideshow to be shown before each show to highlight sponsors.