The possibilities for in-house productions are practically endless, but this page is designed to give you an idea of some of the types productions we are currently considering for the We, Montana! at the Babcock mission. And why would we want to put on our own productions, rather than merely renting out the hall for outside productions? Well, it’s simple; it’s because we can make approximately seven times more revenue from our own shows than from renting the hall out for a flat fee per day! But it’s about more than just making money–although the need to generate revenue is a relentless reality for just about all nonprofit organizations. For us, it’s about putting as many Montanans on the Babcock stage as possible every year. So when we produce a show, we’re meeting both goals at once. We’re certainly not opposed to having a solo act in the hall, but we’d rather see a lot more large-cast acts each year than solo acts.
There are two lists below. The first is for the “Community Events” we would host, which aren’t designed to bring in much revenue, but to serve the community in various ways in keeping with our mission. The second list shows the event types that would help us pay our own way at the Babcock. For lack of a better term, we are calling these events “Revenue Producers”.
COMMUNITY EVENTS (Low Revenue)
Recitals. We want every private studio recital in town to happen at the Babcock for close to free! Think of all the students in town who are studying piano, violin, dance, etc. We want them all to have their recitals at the Babcock, where we hope also to have a world-class piano on our stage. We are planning to provide the facility for this use for close to free to private teachers in the area. Learn more here.
Performing Ensemble Partners. We have room in our schedule for three-or-so larger nonprofit, performing ensembles (choruses, dance troupes, etc.) to make the Babcock their home for weekly rehearsals and two or more performances per year. Each partner group would pay its way by splitting revenues from their performances with the house. Learn more here.
Singalongs. We want to experiment with bringing back the public singalong as a free entertainment event, suitable for people of all ages. We already know that this works at Christmas, but we suspect that in time, we can build enough support to make it even a biweekly or weekly event. The singalongs won’t be a moneymaker, except for concessions, perhaps. Rather, they fulfill our greater goals of building community and enhancing the quality of life.
After-School Programs. We are currently exploring whatever may be the local needs for after-school programs for Monday through Wednesday afternoons. Given the strengths of the Babcock facility, something artsy would seem a nice fit. If it turns out that some manner of performance groups are formed for these time slots (4-6 p.m.) then they can also do one or more performances in the hall each year to further support the overall effort.
Variety Shows. This is your big chance to show your stuff! We’d like to produce variety shows with a wide variety of acts—something for everybody. Imagine the following all in one show: A magic act, a chorus, a juggler, a musical saw player, a Barbershop quartet, a soloist singing the latest pop hits, and on and on. That’s what we mean by variety. We would audition acts for these shows, and possibly even turn it into something of a competition for the winning acts–with cash or other prizes for the winners. We should be able to fill the house every time, and while we haven’t yet decided what the price of admission should be, these should become a real staple in meeting our annual revenue needs. We’d do one or two a year for starters, but if the market will support it, we’d gladly do these more often, up to once a month, if that’s what the people want to see.
Musicals-as-Concerts. Broadway musicals, in concert form. We skip the acting, dancing, and blocking, and we keep all the singing. Read more about it here.
Readers Theater. Plays without the acting! We skip the sets, costumes, blocking, and acting, and have the script read by the readers (one reader per character). Read more about it here.
Skit Nights. Lots and lots of great (auditioned) skits, written, acted, and directed by volunteers from the community. Read more about it here.
Teacher Nights. Performances by local school teachers (music, drama, and dance), and by private studio teachers. Read more about it here.
Special Fundraiser Concerts. We may work together with our performance partners and others to put together special concerts to raise funds to keep the whole program going. Think of these as musical variety shows.
We, Montana! Talks. Like the now-famous Ted Talks, we’d like to produce our own events where we audition various speakers to give short and well-rehearsed talks on a variety of topics. Remember, life-long learning is part of our mission, and we’d love to help facilitate that for thousands and thousands of Montanans each year.
Theatrical Productions. Although we are not well equipped for theatrical productions, we could certainly put on a great “black box” performance from time to time.
Showcase Performances. Are you thinking about planning to hire a performer for a party or some other event? Well, we’re considering producing a show every year or two that would showcase local performers who are for-hire. We could fill the house (because they’re all good), and split the revenues with them. This way, it’s a win/win for performer, house, and audience alike.
If you’d like to discuss our in-house productions, please contact Jack Pelham through our contact page.