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FY 2005 Report: Touring Performances
 
FY 2005 Report
Touring Productions
Bringing educational theater to youth

Founded in 1976, Blue Apple Players is dedicated to the creation and production of high quality musical theater for young audiences. Reaching across social, economic and geographical boundaries, its productions and educational theater programs feed children’s imaginations and challenge them to examine important life lessons.

Part of our legacy is the body of new work that has been generated by co-founders Geraldine Ann Snyder and Paul Lenzi. The repertoire of 36 original musicals by Snyder and Lenzi reflects three decades of experience with young audiences and a commitment to producing quality material that genuinely captivates young audiences and their families. Most of the material was written because good musicals for this audience, that also can be toured to eclectic venues, are hard to find. These are not “kiddie shows,” but intelligent pieces that are respectful of our young audiences.

Geraldine Ann Snyder and Paul Lenzi have written a show for children that adults - and this is a virtual miracle - can sit through without distress. The dialogue is genuinely inventive, not just a series of childish colloquialisms.
Greg Swen, The Courier-Journal, Review of THE THREE PIGS

Each year, Blue Apple Players tours at least three original productions. Touring a production entails scheduling and renting theater space in six states, marketing to over 80,000 teachers in ten states who are within traveling distance to the venues, booking groups interested in seeing the show, and providing teachers in each state with lesson plans that link the show with state academic standards and core content.

The touring company includes a cast of four to six actors plus three support staff members. This self-sufficient group of artists goes into a different theater space almost every day and mounts a full scale musical production. Blue Apple Players’ touring company has a fabulous reputation among the technical directors of venues in Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, Ohio, Georgia, and West Virginia. They report Blue Apple Players is easy to work with using words such as professional, honest, and cooperative.

FY 2005 Productions
Appalachian Homespun Yarns - August 31, 2004-October 1, 2004
Hansel and Gretel - October 26, 2004-December 17, 2004
The Tortoise and the Hare - March 15, 2005-May 20, 2005

FY 2005: 134 Total performances  
  • 60 Kentucky Performances (45%)
  • 112 School Field Trip Performances (83%)
  • 3 Family Performances (Saturdays) (2%)
  • 74 Regional Performances (55%)
  • 20 Contracted Performances (15%)

Audience

Blue Apple Players performs in six states and attracts audience from ten states. School groups travel an average of 40 minutes to see a Blue Apple Players production.

FY 2005: 49,850 students, 5600 teachers and parents

  • 548 different schools attended
  • 64% of booking teachers had never made reservations with BAP before.
  • 60% of schools attending have previous booking history with BAP.
  • 45% of schools attending have 60% or more of their students participating in free or reduced lunch programs.
  • 15% of students attending received free or discounted tickets.

Venues

  • 42 venues used during FY 2005.
      • 35% Professional Theaters
      • 35% College/HS Auditorium
      • 28% Elementary School performance
      • 2% Community Center
  • We used two brand new venues: Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Greeneville, TN and the Drama Center, Cookeville, TN.

Survey Responses

Every adult audience member is given a one-page survey to return if they wish to provide us with feedback on the production. Richard Lichvar, Research Analyst at US Bank, assists Blue Apple Players with evaluation design and analysis of the data.

We ask audience members to rate 11 attributes on a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest possible score. The attributes are: overall experience, ease of making reservations, bus loading/unloading, theater, length of performance, time of performance, cast, sets and costumes, music and sound, price/value, and lesson plan.

  • 31.9% of survey respondents gave all 11 indicators the highest score.
  • The average rating for all attributes was never below 9.
  • In response to survey feedback from past seasons, we hired set designer Gerald Kean to build updated sets for Hansel and Gretel and The Tortoise and the Hare. The percentage of respondents who gave “sets and costumes” the highest score (10) increased nearly 18% (from 60.9% to 78.7%).
  • 78.7% of students have only experienced live theater as part of their school program or school trips

Surveying audiences in FY 2005, we learned there are five basic motivating factors for teachers to choose a Blue Apple production for a field trip experience. These motivating factors are:

  • Previous memorable experiences with Blue Apple Players and our reputation of quality children’s theater
  • Direct mail marketing
  • Time, location, and affordability of the field trip
  • Exposing students to live theater
  • Program Content and coordination with state academic standards

What teachers have to say. . .
“We attend every year in the spring. Your production meets our Language Arts objectives.”
Kindergarten Teacher, Marietta, GA

“We’ve attended several of your productions. The price, safety and location are assets.”
1st Grade Teacher, Lafayette, IN

“This is a return visit for me, as the teacher. It is affordable and very well done - written and performed. Many of my students and parents had never seen a theatrical performance. All enjoyed it.”
Primary Teacher, Pikeville, KY

“We thought it would be a great experience for the students. The Blue Apple Players have a great reputation.”
1st Grade Teacher, Somerset, KY

“Blue Apple Players are wonderful performers. We attend every year to strengthen our arts/humanities areas.”
Primary Teacher, Bowling Green, KY

Collaboration

This year, at the request of the Kentucky Opera, Blue Apple assisted their staff in using our touring model. The November 11, 2004 test performance was so successful artistically and financially, that Blue Apple will continue to help KYO expand what has come to be called “The Blue Apple Model” by the KYO staff. Blue Apple has also helped the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft with its educational marketing and has been approached by the Louisville Ballet for similar help for a new state-wide touring program. The needs of families in our region are great and deserving of quality arts.


 

 

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FY 2005 Education Report
FY 2005 Report: Touring Performances

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