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The mission of Hamilton-Gibson Productions is to provide opportunities for people of all ages to enrich and empower their lives through community performing arts.
Hamilton-Gibson Productions began in 1991 with little else but a clear vision and purpose: we wanted to create a space where the arts could flourish...a place where people, from children to senior citizens, could tap into new areas of their lives and in so doing be enriched and empowered.
Hamilton-Gibson Productions provides opportunities for the community to experince performing arts through community thetare stage productions, traveling productions and choir concerts in schools, youth choirs, senior readers' theatre, and excursions to professional theatres.
We began with two productions in the summer of 1991. Each three performances, with average audience of 100. The next year we expanded to three productions with six performances each. One of these productions was a musical we staged at the Wellsboro High School, beginning our long partnership with the school district. The next year we began exploring programming during the school year. Programming was somewhat hindered since the only auditorium in town at the school was so often scheduled. We began to explore other potential sites and developed relationships with local churches, the county courthouse, the chamber of commerce, Mansfield University, and the other school districts and private schools in the county. Our partnering with the Wellsboro School District intensified when we were invited to move into the Don Gill Elementary school gymnasium in the summer of 1993. From then until 2005, all our summer programming was in the Don Gill gym, which we laboriously converted into an intimate theatre setting.Over the years our theatrical programming has expanded so that we are now producing seven main-stage productions per year. Most of these have seven performances each. Last year four of these main-stage productions sold out nearly every performance. The number of participants in just these main-stage productions totaled over 100...and that's just the performers. The backstage and offstage volunteers totaled close to 200. In the past five years that's over 1500 people exploring the theatre arts with only the main-stage productions. Audience members in the past five years-again for just main-stage performances--well exceeds 15,000.
Besides the main-stage productions we have developed other programming opportunities. In 2001 we began our ACTING UP group: theatre experiences for senior citizens. With grants from the Pennsylvania Partnership of the Arts and local corporate sponsorships we have been able to offer opportunities for seniors to explore many aspects of dramatic arts. Workshops, reader's theatre and performance opportunities. The group has begun work with local school districts and nursing homes to present their material.
Since we began in 1991, Hamilton-Gibson has been committed to the children and youth of our community. Our first season featured the two plays THE MIRACLE WORKER and THE YEARLING. Each of these plays was not only appreciated by children and youth in the audience, but also featured children and the main characters. The next year included the musicals CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN and OLIVER, both featuring many children in the cast.
We began our summer drama camp for kids in 1999. Nearly 500 kids have participated and now we offer three camps, one in Wellsboro, Elkland, and Blossburg. In all of these programs our focus is on the enormous impact the arts can have on a child. Far exceeding the technical skills of the particular performing arts, we're building self-motivation, confidence, poise...enabling the inherent passion to develop and blossom.
Realizing that over 30% of all children in this county are below the poverty level, our commitment takes on added dimension. We are committed to change this. Participation in the performing arts has been proven to impact a child and help him or her to rise out of the cycle of poverty.We are committed to helping children rise above the bondage of poverty.
20+ years has seen thousands of volunteers in all aspects of production: on stage, backstage, off stage. Volunteers who meet every need. Tens of thousands of audience members from not only our local area, but all over Tioga County, plus many tourists and guests.We are active members of the Pennsylvania Association of Community Theatres, entering award-winning entries four years in a row. We are involved with the Bradford County Regional Arts Consortium. We have explored partnerships with regional community and university theatres with the view of performance opportunities once we build the space.
- Bev Dochstader
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