Background Information

Blue Earth is a small, rural community, with a population of less than 4,000. The BE T&CP draw both cast and audience members from all of Faribault, southern Blue Earth, and eastern Martin Counties in Minnesota and northern Kossuth County in Iowa. This region is primarily agricultural and small business oriented. The BE T&CP is the longest-running community theater in this county and one of the few opportunities for live theater outside Mankato that many in this area will experience.

 

The BE T&CP has been fortunate to enjoy strong local support. Community members support local, live theater by purchasing tickets and attending performances and by becoming patrons of the BE T&CP. In April 2009, 155 patrons contributed a total of $7,381 during the annual Patron Drive: 17 Angels ($100+), 56 Patrons ($50-$99), 78 Sustaining Members ($25-$49) and 4 Contributors (under $25). Since these funds have been earmarked for equipment upgrades and continued improvement of the Stage 28 space, they have not been included in the budget for the upcoming shows.

 

The BE T&CP has been a mainstay in Faribault County, which is heavily populated by senior citizens and lower income families who may not have the opportunity to attend entertainment events in larger cities. The BE T&CP summer musical has become an important part of many people’s summer plans and often dovetails with the celebration of Giant Days in the community of Blue Earth. The Christmas Dinner Theater has also become an integral part of the holidays for many in the community. All performances are presented in the Blue Earth Area Public Schools, which are handicap accessible and comply with all government regulations.

 

The BE T&CP enjoy a special relationship with the local school district (#2860 BEAPS). In exchange for fiscal support for capital expenditures in the BEAHS Performing Arts Center, for the renovation of the Stage 28 space in the BEAMS, and for sharing costumes, equipment, and personnel, the BE T&CP is able to use the school facilities for a nominal fee. Also, students have the opportunity to appear on stage in the large-scale summer musicals and dinner theater shows, as well as learn the ropes backstage and in the sound/ lighting booth. The Christmas dinner theater is a joint project of the BE T&CP and the BEAHS Music Department. Choir students set up and serve the dinner, while members of the Madrigals provide a varied selection of seasonal music throughout the meal. The monies earned by the Choir help defray the expenses of their every-third-year trip to Chicago.

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