Koski Family Foundation Grant Supports Asolo Rep's SHOW BOAT Family Day
A grant from the Koski Family Foundation funded and supported Asolo Rep's Show Boat Family Day, held on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the theatre. This grant made it possible for Asolo Rep to offer a discounted package of four tickets to families for $50, as well as $10 tickets for each additional child.
Beverly Koski, an avid supporter of Asolo Rep and longtime board member, is deeply passionate about developing new and diverse audiences within the theatre. Show Boat Family Day brought more than 54 families, which included 220 people, to Asolo Rep, introducing many new audience members to the world of live theater for the very first time.
In addition to Show Boat Family Day, the grant will also support Faces of Change, a special documentary-style theatre piece. Asolo Rep's upcoming productions of Philadelphia, Here I Come! and The Grapes of Wrath illustrate experiences of immigrants and migrant workers as portrayed by great writers of the 20th century; the Education and Outreach department will explore these topics in the present day and in the immediate area by conducting interviews and story circles around the community. The words and experiences of local residents will form an original piece of theatre created and performed with, by, and for the community. Faces of Change brings theatre to many residents of the Sarasota area for the first time. Asolo Rep, with the help of the Koski Family Foundation gift, lends its artistic resources to give these voices and perspectives a stage, and to inspire dialogue on important issues facing our community.
"Beverly Koski is one of the most treasured and important supporters of Asolo Rep. We have our state-of-the-art production center because of her. It is so wonderfully appropriate that she would support Family Day and Faces of Change - two of our most exciting initiatives to bring in new audiences and reach all of our community," said Michael Donald Edwards, Producing Artistic Director of Asolo Rep.
Family Day interactive pre-show activities, such as a costume photo booth and live performance of period instruments, were each chosen to inspire curiosity, to invite families to trade perspectives and to create unique memories.
"Experience with the arts is important; shared experience can be even richer," said Kathryn Moroney, Asolo Rep's Education & Outreach Director. "When we discuss our reaction to a story, to an unfamiliar time and place, or to a character on stage, we're very quickly talking about our own interests, values, and responses to the world. That inter-generational sharing is the spirit behind Family Day."
Families expressed their gratitude: "This family fun day seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce my three children to the theater," and "Thank you for the experience and making it affordable for a family of five" were just a few notes of appreciation Asolo Rep received.