OSKALOOSA — A brand new theater season is in the air, and it smelled like coffee on Monday.
Staff members from the George Daily Community Auditorium were on hand from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a meet and greet event at Smokey Row Coffee Company.
Visitors enjoyed a free cup of coffee while visiting with Education Director Andy McGuire, Music Education/Development Director Allison McGuire, and Operations Manager Erica Fry.
Tickets for a preview performance of Pat Hazell’s upcoming show “Permanent Record” were also available for purchase.
Andy said the most exciting aspect of the new theater season is a William Penn student advisory board that has been assembled to conduct internships to learn what it takes to get a touring act into the auditorium and to select the final show for season.
“The learning will go both ways,” said Andy, “because we’ll also be learning from the students about how to reach a potential audience at William Penn that is more broad and that we have to reach in a much different way. We hope to collaborate to reach that goal.”
Allison discussed how William Penn faculty and students benefit from the partnership with the auditorium.
“All faculty members and students get two free tickets to each show, so we’ve made that a key part of our marketing plan.”
Dr. Willie Jolley, a world-class, award-winning motivational speaker and international bestselling author is also a part of the upcoming season.
Many know him as the speaker Ford Motors called on when they were on the brink of bankruptcy. He rose from humble beginnings to be named “One of the Outstanding Five Speakers in the World” by the members of Toastmasters International, alongside Colin Powell, Nelson Mandela, and Margaret Thatcher. Dr. Jolley is one of 121 living members of the National Speaker Association’s Hall of Fame.
The special guest speaker is sponsored by Carl and Martha Drost, Joe and Jeanie Crookham, Oskaloosa School District, Vanwall Equipment, Mahaska Health Partnership, and William Penn University.
This season there are seven shows, which is more than they’ve scheduled in past seasons.
Allison described how many local high school students who are involved in the youth theater also get involved with the professional shows.
“Many of the national touring shows may travel with only a stage manager and a maybe a sound operator, but it takes many more volunteers to set up the shows to do a one-night performance,” she said. “So the high school students can volunteer to come in to work and learn about those logistics, and also about what it takes to be touring artist by working directly with the professional performers.”
Students can volunteer to help with numerous aspects of a production, including lights, sound, wardrobe, ticketing, props and rigging.
“It can take up to as many as 50 total volunteers to work on the largest productions that we do,” said Andy.
The 2019-2020 season opens with former ‘Seinfeld’ writer, Pat Hazell on Thursday, Sept. 12. On Nov. 17, Terry Lee Goffee will present his “Ultimate Tribute to Johnny Cash.” Alliance Brass Quintent will be performing on Dec. 11, playing holiday favorites. Missoula Children’s theatre will return to the George Daily stage with an adaptation of ‘Pinocchio.’ In February, a new musical called ‘Llama Llama Live’ will take the stage. The season will end with Fly Dance Company and their “theatrical hip-hop” show on March 25.
For more information about George Daily Community Auditorium visit www.georgedaily.org