2016-17 Project Summary
To abide by by the established qualifications to retain our Enrichment Program status, all Loyal Heights students were invited to participate in our production of Peter Pan Jr. All who expressed interest were asked to review the TAG Experience to understand the program prior to committing and all 160 who auditioned/signed up were secured in the company. Cast members were asked to pay dues which covered the cost of a cast t-shirt, a costume, and a cd of the score to keep. Each cast member received quality music, acting, and dance training over the course of 15 weeks and performed in front of live audiences. Rehearsal Assistant Team (RAT) members were asked to pay dues which covered the cost of a RAT hat, crew t-shirt, pants and socks, and cd of the score to keep. Each RAT member received hands-on theatre production experience over the course of 12 weeks and performed for live audiences. For the convenience of participating families, TAG coordinated SPS bus transportation to multiple locations in Ballard for all cast and RAT members after weekday rehearsals for the length of the rehearsal run. All TAG alumni were invited to participate as honorary cast members or backstage volunteers, proving our ongoing commitment to participants, encouraging ongoing friendships, and providing excellent role models for our current students. Note: Alumni were not eligible for speaking roles. Scholarships were available to any company member so that all interested had the opportunity to participate. We had four shows, performing to 1,900 audience members in two days. Subsidized tickets were available to our LHE community so that anyone interested had the opportunity to attend.
All adults in our LHE community were invited to participate on the TAG Team to plan the production and the LHPTA board received an open invitation to attend any TAG Team meetings; The meeting schedule was posted prominently at school and on the TAG website throughout the length of the production run. All major decisions related to casting, creative direction, rehearsals, schedules, budget, volunteering, etc. were made by the TAG Team or appropriate sub-committees therein. Two anonymous surveys were offered to our TAG families (one in the fall, at the beginning of the production run, and one in the spring, at the completion of performances) and a third to the TAG Team which accompanied our annual TAG Team project critique meeting in May to invite constructive criticism and ideas for improvement and change to best support our ever-evolving school community. Per tradition, all information collected will be reviewed this year and again at the beginning of next year's production.
Gratitude was expressed throughout the production run through the Neverland News (weekly company correspondence), BeaverTales, playbills, recognition at the Company Party, and thank you notes.
Securing our Enrichment Program status provides significant financial savings. Including every interested LHE student in this production resulted in a large cast and audience, which required an appropriately sized venue. With district approval, the rental fees for the Seattle Public School (SPS) venue used were waived. Other costs related to the venue, which are on par with other theatre arts productions at local schools and throughout Seattle, include lighting, HVAC, and student crew services as required by the district. Performing at a venue within SPS not only retains costs within our school district but directly benefits the Ballard High School Drama Program which provides the highest quality theatre arts experiences at the high school level. Note: Since the 2015-16 school year, TAG alumni have participated in this program at BHS, thus reinforcing our commitment to all TAG participants, past and present. Our volunteers made it possible to avoid paying for custodial services.
All production, artistic & music direction, choreography, and stage management as well as design services for sets, props, costumes, hair/makeup, lighting, photography, videography, and graphic design were generously donated by volunteers within our LHE community. Donations and significant discounts were procured for as many materials as possible so that the project stayed within the LHPTA-approved budget. Production costs were covered by ticket sales for the sole purpose of creating a quality, relevant theatre arts experience for company and audience members alike.
Research proves that TAG consistently offers a more thorough musical theatre experience to our students, school community, and audience members at considerably less cost to our families than provided by other schools locally and throughout Seattle. All money collected through dues and ticket sales went directly to the LHPTA to pay for production costs; Any monies not used for this program will be absorbed into the general LHPTA fund to benefit the entire LHE community.
All TAG productions have been accomplished with 100% volunteer time and with no cost to our school or the LHPTA.
School & Community Outreach
TAG supported other goings on at our school by promoting the Family Dance, Book Fair, Art Walk, and Auction as well as other applicable theatre arts events and opportunities in our Ballard & Seattle communities. Per tradition, our weekly TAG Team meeting the day before auction was cancelled and all team members were asked to help with auction needs. Many of our TAG Team members attended the Auction and contributed to the "Peter Pan Jr. You Can Fly" package donated on behalf of the Pan company.
TAG suggested & supported three fund raising opportunities: Annual poster sales (product 100% donated by TAG) and flower sales that raised approximately $900 towards this year's Fifth Grade Camp Orkila trip. TAG also collected donations for the new Robert Eagle Staff PTSA, where many of our LHE students will be attending next year. As a show of gratitude, Legacy Gifts that directly benefit all LHE students, staff, and community are included in each year's TAG production budget. Finally, TAG families, with the cooperation of the LHPTA, spearheaded the retirement gift and recognition event for Principal Floyd.
All adults in our LHE community were invited to participate through the Enrichment Program. TAG made extensive efforts to honor and respect all cultures in an inclusive way in our production of Peter Pan Jr. This included the reinterpretation of costumes, songs, and artistic presentation, incorporating elements from multiple cultures (costumes and drums from many countries, plus American Sign Language), and contributing relevant cultural education to the school curriculum. Click here to view the thoughtful letter written by our TAG Enrichment Coordinator to this year's company.
TAG is pleased to sponsor choreography workshops for every LHE student with an emphasis on Native American culture. They will be taught by a Native American educator through the Pacific Northwest Ballet during PE. We are grateful to the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Seattle Public School’s Native American Education Department for their teaching and advice on respecting Native American culture in this production.
A Note of Thanks
We are grateful for this opportunity to have engaged our school community, our amazing students, staff, and families. We extend heartfelt thanks to the LHPTA for sponsoring this program and to all who participated in this Pan adventure in any way.
The Future of TAG
This coming year will be a big transition for TAG as many of our team members will be graduating to middle school with their children. Be assured that the show will go on! We are pleased to announce next year’s TAG Chairs Dr. David Hyre, Sadie Agurkis, and Jennifer Haldimann who will ensure the continuation of this program and theatre arts education at our school. For more information on the TAG Chairs, click here.
We need you! To participate in next year's TAG Team, click here.