The Rapidian

Heritage Theatre turns to Kickstarter to produce Blithe Spirit

The nonprofit theatre company must raise $3,500 by 8 pm on December 11, 2013 to put on Noel Coward's play in summer 2014.
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Like any other nonprofit community theatre company, Heritage Theatre Group can’t sustain itself on ticket sales alone; this year, they’re trying a new method of raising $3,500: running a Kickstarter campaign to produce Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit next summer.

While Heritage Theatre has traditionally relied on playbill ad sales, corporate sponsors and fundraising events, this year the company is branching out.  The campaign offers a variety of backer rewards, including ticket vouchers, so the effort also serves as a vehicle for advance ticket sales.

“The benefit of using Kickstarter,” noted Board Treasurer, Jeff Thomas, “is that we’re able to channel much more of the money that’s raised to actually advance our mission.  With each dollar pledged, we’ll be able to produce 40 cents more theatre than if that money were raised through a fundraising event.”

Heritage Theatre included Blithe Spirit on its most recent audience survey knowing that the show has surprised and delighted audiences around the world for over seventy years.  Attendees of the 2013 summer season selected it as one of their top picks, which serves as a testimony to its enduring popularity.

The campaign’s video and text, housed on Kickstarter’s website at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/heritagetheatregroup/blithe-spirit-in-grand-rapids-mi-summer-2014, describe both the play Blithe Spirit and the resources needed to bring it to the stage.  Only ten days remain to secure the rest of the pledges needed to reach Heritage Theatre’s $3,500 goal.

The Heritage Theatre Group was founded in 1991 in order to present classic plays and plays with classic themes, which were and are largely absent from the offerings of other community theatre companies in the Grand Rapids area. In the years since, Heritage Theatre has staged over seventy productions, including pieces by Shakespeare, Molière, Shaw, Wilde, Chekhov, Miller, Williams, and many others.  For more information about Heritage Theatre Group, visit www.heritagetheatregr.org.

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