WINSTON-SALEM. With arts organizations feeling financial strain around the world, one theatre company in North Carolina spent a weekend raising funds in a creative way. Spring Theatre’s founder and Executive Director Erinn Dearth, Artistic Director Dan Beckmann and Board Chair Brandon Hicks broadcasted live from the Milton Rhodes Center of the Arts for 24-Hours straight as part of the fundraising efforts of this youth-oriented theatre company that has been serving the Triad since 2011.
The theatre produces musicals and plays, classes and camps, and most recently, socially-distanced films for the community at large. When the pandemic hit, and put arts venues in the dark, Spring Theatre’s team was determined to continue to create safe, innovative theatrical experiences both in person and online.
During the 24-Hours, the trio of hosts played games, performed songs from musicals, interviewed guests and hosted the “Slumber Party Sing-Off”, which was the main event of the fundraiser. For $1 per vote, audiences worldwide cast their votes for their favorite of 12 singers from the Triad. After a very close race to the finish, 15-year old Tara Flury was crowned the winner, with her rendition of “Adelaide’s Lament” from the musical Guys and Dolls.
When asked her thoughts after being crowned the champion, Flury stated, “I’m so humbled to be the winner with all of the amazing competitors, but really I am just so happy to have been able to help raise money for Spring Theatre to continue bringing theatre opportunities to the Triad”. Flury has been in several productions with Spring Theatre, including Singing in the Rain and The Secret Garden.
The other competitors who performed to raise funds for Spring Theatre were Katie Pelikan, Omar Sosa, Dwan Hayes, Mackenzie Clegg, Braxton Allen, Charity Hampton, Jackson Colo, Brianna Witherspoon, Parker Bond, Oliver Helsabeck and Bella Hart-Peck. All of the songs received rave reviews, and many votes from the public.
The event was sponsored by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem, Footnote Coffee, The Porch Kitchen and Cantina, and Travel With Jan. Executive Director Erinn Dearth reported that Spring Theatre exceeded their fundraising goal for the event. “Everyone at Spring Theatre feels like family, and the last 30 minutes of the broadcast when the donations and votes were really pouring in it truly felt like the entire community was in the theatre with us, cheering us on”, she said. “I’ve seen theatre change the lives of young people in the past 10 years that Spring has been producing shows, and we will continue to do so, no matter what”.
More information on how to become involved with Spring Theatre, including auditions for upcoming productions can be found at www.SpringTheatre.org.
To make a tax-deductible donation, patrons may do so on Venmo @springtheatre or by visiting the Spring Theatre website.