Pittsburg Community Theatre is thrilled to be a part of the continued growth of the arts in Pittsburg. Before we kick off 2018, we’d like to thank everyone who made our 2017 season possible.

We started that season in March with “13,” a popular Broadway musical about surviving the teenage years, performed for the public and for hundreds of students from area schools as part of our outreach to youth. In June, that mission continued when we staged our increasingly popular, long-running annual summer children’s theatre camp, “Jr. Starz,” with double the number of kids and twice the shows.

Our season continued in July with the beloved “Willy Wonka,” made even more special with a Golden Ticket Giveaway in cooperation with local businesses: Ron’s IGA, Sweet Designs Cakery, Root Coffeehouse, Pittsburg Public Library, and Memorial Auditorium — our home base since our founding in 1979.

Then, this fall, yet another popular Broadway musical, “Last Five Years,” kicked off something new we’re trying: an after-dark series especially for mature audiences, held a bit later than our standard curtain time.

We wrapped up the year with an original adaptation by John and Diane Mazurek of “Red Skelton’s Freddie the Freeloader’s Christmas Dinner,” made even more festive with the addition of carolers and a visit by Mr. and Mrs. Claus. A marriage proposal by the technical director to the music director made the last performance one to remember.

Producing these shows can be a costly endeavor, no matter how adept our casts, crews, and directors are at pinching pennies and reusing materials. Purchasing the rights to perform shows can cost thousands. For example: We wanted to produce “Grease,” but just purchasing those rights would cost us $12,000!

Another example: show musicians get very, very small stipends. However, those can add up over the course of a season. If a pit orchestra requires 10 to 15 musicians, each of whom are paid just $200 for a six-week production, that totals $2,000 to $3,000 in a show’s budget. Add in costumes, makeup, paint, lumber, props, and printed posters, and it’s impossible to balance our budget using strictly ticket revenue.

That’s where donors come in. We are fortunate to have a number of contributors who have been very generous with financial donations. Others have been wonderful about buying advertising in our show programs to help offset costs. Still others give their time and talent. To all, we are extremely grateful. Without YOU, there would be no US

To close, we ask that our community consider four requests:

1. Attend, or audition for, a show in our 2018 season. Choose from “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” in March, “Sister Act, the Musical” in July, or “The Balcony Scene” (another show for mature audiences) in October. The more who are involved, the stronger we are!

2. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pctinfo, on Twitter @PittCommTheatre, or our website at www.pctinfo.org where you can subscribe to receive email newsletters so you’re always up to date on what’s happening.

3. Enroll a child you care about in Jr. Starz (don’t wait — enrollment fills up quickly!), or make a $50 donation to enable a child to attend who otherwise couldn’t afford it. You’d be amazed at the countless benefits the arts provide children.

4. Contribute to PCT’s general fund to help us continue to do what we do. We are a non-profit organization and those donations are tax-deductible. They may be mailed to PCT, PO Box 445, Pittsburg, KS 66762.

And now, on with the show(s)!