Marion Palace Theatre

What’s Your Story? – April 2017

What’s Your Story? – April 2017

If you’ve been watching the thermometer to determine what season it is, you’re likely as confused as I am. What crazy weather! But, like the mailman, we’re here to deliver. In our case, we’re committed to delivering performing arts opportunities – on stage and from the seats – and to maintaining this historic building.

The 2016-17 season has been a remarkable one. It stands out in many ways. If we measure success by the numbers, it has been a successful year. We had our highest number of members to date. I love that statistic. It helps me understand that people see the value and the benefit of supporting the theatre beyond the programming.

Another stand-out statistic would be the impact this season’s Palace shows had on tourism. We recorded a more widespread audience demographic than across previous seasons. That’s good for Marion’s economy. And that’s good for all of us.

The ultimate numerical success has been seen in the number of tickets we’ve sold across the board this season. WOW! Who knew dogs could sell so many tickets? And country. And Christmas. The list goes on. We’ve used the words ‘sold out’ or ‘near sell out’ more this season than I can remember in previous years.

All of these statistics point to a positive bottom line for 16-17. And, for that, I am most grateful. Collectively those numbers represent the business of the performing arts.

Recently I shared some of these very thoughts with the staff. We celebrate numbers because they represent some tangible outcomes to everyone’s hard work.

But there is something bigger than the bottom line that keeps me going, motivates me when I grow tired, and inspires me to strive for excellence. That something bigger is represented in the stories of lives touched and changed by our work here at the Palace.

Recently we concluded our second junior play, James and the Giant Peach. The stories I heard from cast families following this production echo those I’ve heard after other local productions. These fill the “something bigger” category for me.

“He thinks he found something that ‘sticks’…has tried everything, and does not fit into the mold of ‘boy’ hobbies, this mom loved watching him show his talents, finally.”

“Thank you for giving the opportunity to the kids to perform such a ‘big’ show on such a big stage! This was our first experience, and it was not only very fun but very special to be able to do it at the Palace. I grew up in Marion and am very proud of the Palace and all that it offers. Having this opportunity for the kids just adds to how great it is!”

“…was backward and bashful, but look at her. After her theatre experiences, she’s soaring. So confident and unafraid. Thank you.”

I hope these words will help inspire you, too. In the next few weeks, we’ll begin our 2017-18 membership drive. Maybe you’ve considered a membership donation before but thought, “What difference does my money make any way?” THIS, these stories, are that difference. Stories of finding a place to belong, the specialness of a historic theatre, and of confidence gained and expressed.

We have similar stories from nearly every production, from both adults and youth alike. I hear from audience members about the power of a performance following every show. Your financial support through membership will help pen more stories for years to come.

I’d love to hear from you…what’s your story?