Posts Tagged ‘Nonprofit’

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Tessitura Conference Blog = Day 1 and 2

August 10, 2010

By Dan Grossman, Vice President of Marketing
(background note: Tessitura is the State Theatre’s Ticketing Software, there are 324 other organizations who also use Tessitura, including Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Day 1 (Sunday 8/8/10 – 2pm): I woke up at 6am to the wonderful sounds of my 2 year-old daughter saying, “Daddy, I feel sick.” This actually means, “I’m ready to play.” I had a nice morning with my wife and two kids, who kindly dropped me off at the Trenton, NJ, train station. I got on the train and I joined Leah Anglum (Development Associate) and Don McKim (Ticket Office Manager) on our journey to DC. We went through Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Baltimore, MD; and finally Washington DC. We hopped in a cab and feared for our lives for about 15 minutes until we arrived safely at the Gaylord National Hotel. As I was in line to check in, I saw a nice gentleman who works at the hotel. We got to chatting and it turns out that we went to the same high school and I graduated with his sister. Well, lucky me. I got upgraded to a three room corner suite on the 19th floor. AWESOME. We went over to the conference area to check in and bumped into Joe Rodriguez (Staff Accountant) and a few people from the Network that we see every year. Now I am going to unpack, unwind and get ready for a night of networking with fellow Tessiturians. This is going to be one great conference!

Day 2 (Monday 8/9/10 – 8am): Let the networking begin! Last night we gathered together as a large group to kick off the conference at the NEIGHBORHOOD NETWORKING AT THE POTOMAC. We represent groups from all of the world—Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Canada, Great Britain, and U.S.A. Don Youngberg, the VP and MC of Tessitura calls it the United Nations of Tessitura. We kicked the event off in one big room and then we split into Block Parties. Block Party 1 was by organization type (performing arts centers) and Block Party 2 was by job type (Marketing). So, we ate and got to meet some cool people who all share similar trials and tribulations. Then, we all got back together at the end to wrap up and hear the Tessitura Chorus unveil the new network mission. After the dinner it was off to the huge atrium at the Gaylord Hotel for drinks and more networking. I conversed with my co-workers and Claire from Tampa Bay Florida (who uses Tessitura as a registrar software for a conservatory), Jeremy from San Francisco (who is a union Box Office Manager with the Symphony out there), and a half dozen other people from around the Globe. Well, today should be great! I’m off to two sessions about social media and Tessitura 360 in the morning and then will hit a reporting class in the afternoon. Finally, we will have a big dinner at the Kennedy Center – I am really looking forward to visiting that venue for the first time.

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The Urban Arts Festival is Here! What Do We Do Now?

May 22, 2009
So, after months and months of planning, it’s here and it’s tomorrow, Sat, May 23…the State Theatre’s first annual Urban Arts Festival. It’s an all-day (12pm-8pm) outdoor festival and we’ve booked so many acts, it’s unbelievable. Very quickly, this venture into new territory, the urban arts, has gone from “what do we do and how do we do it,” to “what do we do with all these big plans now?”

We have booked 20 plus acts, and scheduled 2 open mic times for local spoken word poets, and all of that must fit into 8 hours…that is going to be some crazy turnaround time for our stage hands. And that is not to mention we have all sorts of other stuff going on at the same time including free workshops, a 25 ft mural project and a hanging “art happening” or art installation, both of which are open to the public for participation. Nevertheless, we are confident in our plans and we just hope that people like what we have put together. We just have to remember, this is the “first annual” Urban Arts Festival, which means you never know…stay tuned (or just stop by!).

For more information on the Urban Arts Festival, visit: http://www.statetheatrenj.org/urban_arts. The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

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The Appeal of Old Movies – Carnegie Hall

April 30, 2009

While channel surfing the other night I stumbled across an amazing 1947 film on TCM entitled Carnegie Hall. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0039244/fullcredits#cast . The movie itself, largely forgettable, (clearly forgotten in fact), centers on a contrived love story set in and around the famed concert hall. I was initially drawn in by the obviously authentic location shooting, interiors and many exterior shots of that neighborhood in which I used to work. Most remarkable though were the cameo appearances of many 20th century classical music titans: Jascha Heifetz, Artur Rubinstein, Lily Pons, Leopold Stokowski, and Jan Peerce just to name a few. Some overacted in the roles of themselves as eccentric artists, but most simply performed; long, extended, non-sound bite, montage free performances. How much has changed in 60 years. That a movie like this could get made, that a small constellation of classical music stars familiar to the general public even existed, and that their simple one or two stationary camera performances could be considered visually engaging is touchstone of aesthetics long gone. I won’t lament too much though. No doubt the appeal, for better or worse, of many performers who routinely take the stage here will astound the audiences of 2069.

 

-Andrew Fishman, Director of Programming

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

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Cedar Lake Touching Performance

April 29, 2009
As a Rutgers student currently enrolled in Modern dance, it was highly recommended that I see Cedar Lake perform their contemporary Ballet pieces this past Friday at the State Theatre. Having been familar with this particular genre in dance, I was the upmost impressed and blown away after this performance. In my opinion, never has a dance company make such connections through real-life emotions and present the uncut truth of it to an audience with such grace. Completely, taken aback by a mind-blowing performance, I am proud to say I was one of the many in the audience who gave the performers a standing ovation.

The show had three seperate pieces that each symbolized human life at its most truthful element. There was the first, that dealt with issues of relationships-displaying a variety of differnent and individual dynamics each relationship had. What also was an apparent theme was the fact there were outsiders watching, passing judgements. To represent the “passing of judgments” they had the onlookers walking across the stage whispering or making gossiping-like sounds, literally “passing” by the couple that was having issues. Also, interesting to note, the only couple on stage to dance as if they were happily “dancing through life” without a care, had their gossipers walk away, because it was no longer something dramatic to talk about; two people just being happy and content with each other.

This type of truthfulness exsisted within the other two pieces, although more abrstract from the first. The second was only two women, one of which was in a trance or sleep-like state, and the other was darkness, and represented the seduction and control it has over one’s sleeping body. The dance itself was one with at times with a nightmarish feel to it, which gave an overall erie feeling. Different, this dance led into the final act with got possibly darker with emotions, and yet a sense of relief of a common feeling among us all that we share.

With the final act, there was also a feeling a eeriness and a dream like state, but what the piece seemed to represent is shared fears among the human population. The dances not only had strong movements with their bodies, but played the parts of the characters and the fears each one was facing.

All represented through movements of the body, and the old rule of Ballet with now less restrictions, Cedar Lake did a fabulous job at crafting the natural human reactions.

–Ashley Petersen, Marketing/PR Intern

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

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Follow the Bee!

April 23, 2009

Inspired by the Peeps contests from mycentraljersey.com and the Washington Post we decided here at the State Theatre to do our own twist of a Peeps scene, using The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee as our inspiration. State Theatre Marketing/PR interns worked hard on the model, only using Peeps (88 cents per box at Rite Aid!) and supplies found in the office. Now, the Spelling Bee Peeps are set up for 14 days of mischief. They have already started to hit the road, encountering various people and places like Best Buy (with the Geek Squad), the Philadelphia Orchestra (well, sort of, the orchestra was actually out to lunch while they enjoyed a seat on the podium), Officer Dave (yes a real police officer), and all around downtown New Brunswick. And just a few days after being created, the Peeps have already met their first celebrity, comedian Brian Regan!

The Peeps are looking forward to their next exciting journey, wherever it may be. They will be showing up unannounced at random locations in NJ, so keep your eye out and Follow the Bee in order for your chance to win free tickets to The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee on May 1-2, 2009 here at the State Theatre!

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

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An Urban Arts Festival for New Brunswick, New Jersey

March 27, 2009
For years now, we at the State Theatre have been trying to put together an Urban Arts Festival, a celebrated community experience of music, dance, poetry, and art. And now with the support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, our dreams have come true and the date is set for Saturday, May 23. Now if we can only figure out what exactly what we want to do….

The city of New Brunswick is a diverse city, so planning for the festival (which will be free of charge) has been harder than we could ever imagine. We are currently in the process of booking local acts for an outside stage that will be open on the street in front of the State Theatre from 12:30pm to about 6pm. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work to be done in just under 2 months (and that’s not to mention the evening performances on the State Theatre stage and the day-time workshops we want to do). There are TOO MANY options (and time is running out) and how often can you say that in times like these?! I guess what it comes down to is that we are very thankful for this opportunity, and we want it to be the best it can be, so our emotions and expectations are running high. And for lack of a better phrase, THE HEAT IS ON!

Performers scheduled for the Urban Arts Festival so far include Mayhem Poets and performance poet Glenis Redmond. If you are a solo performer or part of a group that would like to perform at the Urban Arts Festival, contact Andrew Fishman: afishman@StateTheatreNJ.org. No phone calls, please.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

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Rutgers to break Guinness World Record of most Waldos in one place!

March 24, 2009

In any other case, seeing over 1500 people dressed up as Waldo from the book series “Where’s Waldo?” would probably frighten you. If you are a child of the 90’s you probably remember Waldo as the tall, lanky, guy that always seemed to be lost amidst a crowd of people/objects that looked like his red and white striped shirt at first glance. On April 2, 2009 Rutgers University is attempting to break the Guinness World Record of the largest gathering of people dressed up as Waldo. I know what you’re thinking, “THAT’S a world record?” You would be surprised to find out what other bizzarre world records there are out there (actually, last April, Rutgers students broke the world record for the most people dressed up as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).

This year’s record breaking attempt will take place at the State Theatre, with an entry fee of $5 or a new children’s book. All books and proceeds will benefit literacy efforts for the students of the New Brunswick School District. So, not only will you be able to be a part of breaking a really unique world record, you will also be helping out the kids that live in the local community. We are living in a time where books are becoming a more and more obsolete source of entertainment for children. It is nice to know that there are still events like this that are fighting for books to remain a part of childhood. So, if you grew up in the 90’s looking for Waldo, want to break a world record, or just want to benefit a good cause, put on your Waldo gear and stop by the theater.

–Teisia Park, Marketing/PR Intern

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.

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Mom and Dad, please put down that video camera!

March 18, 2009

Live performances — theater, music, whatever, there is nothing like it. Sharing the experience with your family, priceless. You buy the tickets, refreshments, some quirky show merchandise, and sit to enjoy the show. But there’s one problem, there is a square box of brightness distracting you (and blinding you) from a few rows up. Someone in front of you is filming every second of the show …Argh! You sit and bear it, but a few minutes later a few more bright little screens pop up…cameras, phones, etc.

This is exactly what happened at our recent performances of Dora the Explorer Live. One parent would see another parent filming the show and so THEY would start filming the show. Our ushers would politely ask them to stop filming, but some people would intially refuse stating “Well that person is taping, why don’t you stop them.” Yikes! What to do, what to do…

Well, the filming of live performances at a performaning arts center like ourselves, is not allowed anywhere, at any time. However, saying that to patrons, is a difficult task. So, I just want to say think before you try to sneak a few pictures or video footage because it ruins it for everyone, plus you know you are never going to watch the footage more than once. Why spoil the moment by trying to recapture it for later? You are at the performance right now, so sit back and take it all in. You might just miss the most amazing moment because you are trying too hard to hide the fact that you are taking pictures or taping.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

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What will you be spending money on three months from now?

March 9, 2009

What will you be spending money on three months from now? How about six months, or even a year down the road? Will you pop for those $75 tickets to see one of your favorite performances in concert, or dinner and a Broadway show? Will I? Chances are neither one of us know answers to these questions. We are currently in the thick of programming our schedule for the 2009-2010 season, which entails booking shows, setting ticket prices etc. for events as far away as May 2010. Normally we can predict with a fair degree of accuracy of what the market will bear, but “normally” has gone out the window. The good news is, that in spite of the uncertainty, we forge ahead. Will we make concessions and adjustments based on the economy, of course, but compare next season to this one, and all that have come before, and you will see the same broad variety of quality shows that the Theatre is known for. We all know what predictions are worth these days, but here’s one thing for certain, three months, six months or a year from now, we’ll be here. Hope you will be too.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

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State Theatre’s Third Annual Family Day

February 20, 2009

Every year the State Theatre hosts Family Day on Presidents’ Day, a nonstop schedule of both free and paid activites at the State Theatre , George Street Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, Uniter Methodist Church, and the Hub City Big Top. Each time Family Day gets bigger and bigger and this year was no exception. There were ten workshops, five performances at the State Theatre and Crossroads Theatre, and free sing-a-longs and story telling all day long at United Methodist Church. The size was not limited to just the events, but also to the size of the Hub City Big Top, a 30×75 foot heated tent that shuts down Livingston Avenue from George Street to New Street, when last year’s was only 20×50 feet.

Live characters from popular children shows filled the street, while volunteers from the community, like Rutgers University, ran a variety of free activity stations. Our most popular station was face painting where kids could get colorful penguins, flowers, Hello Kitties, and Elmos on their cheeks. A close second was balloon animals where kids could choose from a dog, elephant, mouse, horse, monkey, snail, sword, hat, or bunny.

The bunny was clearly the most popular balloon animal of the day. Once the children saw Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny they all wanted one of their own. These two performances were the main attraction of Family Day.

So after all was said and done, and the last cheek was painted and the last balloon was handed out, kids and parents alike went home with lifted spirits and smiling faces. It is those faces that make us want to continue this tradition for years to come.

The State Theatre is located at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, NJ. For information or to purchase tickets call 732-246-SHOW(7469) or visit http://www.statetheatrenj.org/.

Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Myspace.