Storyland Theatre is a 34-year-old Georgia nonprofit theatre for children. Our main purpose is to present live quality theatrical productions, performed by adults, for children and families, especially those who otherwise might not have the opportunity to experience the magic of theatre. We dramatize excellent, locally written original plays and musicals, based on fairytale themes, incorporating imaginative sets, costumes, lighting and special effects, to expose children to the finest theatre in the Central Savannah River Area. We present 3 musicals/plays yearly at the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre.
A large portion of our audience is socio-economically disadvantaged, ethnically diverse; many are rural and inner-city public school students, as well as private schools, secular and religious in nature; and Home Schools. Some students have disabilities including autism, are visually or hearing impaired, handicapped and in special education. Field trips to Storyland provide an opportunity for children with disabilities to enjoy the “Magic of Theatre” right along with classmates.
Children attend from 15 counties in Georgia and South Carolina: Burke, Columbia, Glascock, Hancock, Jefferson, Jenkins, Lincoln, McDuffie, Richmond and Warren in Georgia; Aiken, Allendale, Barnwell, Edgefield and McCormick Counties in South Carolina. Many students are elementary school age (Kindergarten-5th grade); some are Pre-Kindergarten age, some attend through seventh grade with their middle schools.
A "Theatre Etiquette" Speech begins performances to teach children what to expect, how to behave. Teachers receive GA Common Core State or SC College & Career Readiness Standards + Storyland Lesson Plan Ideas to incorporate play-related activities, helping educate students about Theatre in class. We extend the ability to teach the Arts by providing quality Theatre and in-class activities related to Arts/Literacy. Standards help teachers plan/justify field trips.
Our 2019-2020 season, 22,881 people had reservations to attend Storyland shows. As a result of COVID-19 school closings, we had to postpone our third show, "Beauty and the Beast", our original musical, refunding/crediting most of the 8,570 reservations, a significant hardship: this was 45% of our ticket revenue. 14,311 did attend our first 2 musicals, "Mademoiselle Hood Meets Le Wolf" and "Rapunzel", and thoroughly enjoyed both shows. In our 6 years back at the Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre alone, 127,600+ people attended Storyland. Of those, 94,800 had discounted/free tickets, some even benefitting from Transportation Credits. We offer them to help pay for buses, providing $50-$500 to schools that need them while still discounting ticket prices or offering free tickets. We do whatever it takes to help make trips to Storyland possible for socio-economically disadvantaged students: many have never seen a live performance. Season Tickets (3 plays) are $15; $6/1 play. Last season alone, even with our reduced attendance, we provided $36,000 in subsidized tickets/bus credits.
Storyland has supported Ft. Gordon 17 years. We welcome Active Duty Military &Families free to support our troops at Saturday Family Matinees, offering free seats to students from Freedom Park K-8 School & Ft. Gordon Child Development Programs at Weekday School Shows. 2019-20, 738 participated. In 2010, Brig. General Jeff Foley, Commander, U. S. Army Signal Center of Excellence and Ft. Gordon awarded us a plaque: “In recognition of your continued outstanding support to our soldiers and family members.” So far, 21,022 Military & Dependents have attended Storyland performances free.
Our Goal is to teach children to love the Arts; to study Drama, Music, Art; to attend Live performances AND, as adults, to bring their own children and teach them to love the Arts because they attended Storyland Theatre as a child. Several Storyland actors attended our shows as children, deciding to become actors as a result. Several parents bring their children to our shows because they remember how much they enjoyed attending as children.
Saturday Matinees permit families to attend together. We offer free seats to charities. Many Military Families haven't attended live theatre; our invitation encourages attendance. We ask Military families to stand so we can thank them for their service. After Matinees, we invite children to meet the actors for autographs & photos!
March 2020, when schools closed due to COVID-19, we brought Storyland to the children, creating a Storyland YouTube Channel. Spring we provided our archival video, “Jack & the Beanstalk”. Fall we added "Cinderella", both past musicals.
We then produced "Humphrey Clinker Gets His Wish", our first Animated Video Musical. All 3 videos were free, viewed by 12,000+ people so far on our Storyland Theatre YouTube channel.
We're currently working on "The Emperor's New Clothes", an animated video musical, for January 2022 release.