Thank you for supporting the Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Houston through another wonderful summer production! We knew from the moment auditions began in March that the 2014 cast would be a special one, and we were very pleased to see that audiences and critics agreed with us. With a combination of fresh new faces and some of our most dedicated long-term Society members, this was certainly a cast full of stars! From the opening song's complex dance routines to the pyrotechnics accompanying the Sorcerer's spells, this show was full of energy, fun, and many theatrical traditions brought to Texas by director Alistair Donkin.
We're just as excited for the coming year. Not only will we be modernizing our online ticketing system, but we'll be presenting two (yes, two!) musical events leading up to our grand production of The Pirates of Penzance during the summer of 2015.
First off, the ticketing improvements: Many of you know that as a nonprofit organization, we rely on the generosity of the Houston community as well as ticket sales to maintain a balanced budget and continue our mission of bringing high-quality Gilbert and Sullivan performances to the stage. We are taking another step towards maintaining our fiscal stability this coming year by partnering with Houston First at the Wortham Theater Center to help streamline online ticket sales. This partnership allows us to use their ticketing website, so those who prefer to buy tickets online will now be able to select their own seats with their purchase. It will also allow us to present a greater range of ticket prices to fit more budgets. Those who prefer to order over the phone, especially our beloved patrons, will continue to receive the quality care and personalized attention our contributors have come to expect.
But our new partnership with Houston First isn't the only thing we're excited about. For the first time, we will have a series of events leading up to our main summer production. One of the programs that we are proudest of is our scholarship program, which has been assisting young and talented Houstonians pursue degrees in music and technical theater for more than 50 years. To help support these deserving young musicians, we will be presenting the Gilbert and Sullivan Scholarship Concert on December 6th in RICE UNIVERSITY'S HAMMAN HALL. This concert will feature past scholarship winners and Society cast favorites performing such G&S classics as "The sun whose rays" from The Mikado, "The hours creep on apace" from HMS Pinafore, and "When all night long a chap remains" from Iolanthe, as well as a few special exhibition pieces. Funds from this concert will go towards ensuring we can keep supporting young talent for years to come. You can purchase your general admission tickets in advance ONLINE or at the door. We hope to see a great crowd to support our scholarship efforts!
Then next spring, on March 7, our very own Alistair Donkin will make a special appearance in Houston to present a one-night-only partially staged production of Trial By Jury, accompanied by a revue of musical numbers from every show in the Gilbert and Sullivan canon - including The Grand Duke and Utopia Limited - shows our Houston Society has never once performed on the main stage! Many of our regular attendees were disappointed to see that due to financial constraints it was not practical for us to perform Trial By Jury alongside HMS Pinafore in 2013 as is traditional. With this special event, we hope to build on our Society's traditional success and create the means to take the Society into the future in a fiscally responsible way. We will be announcing more information about the evening as it comes, but please be sure to save the date!
If you would like to learn more about the Society's programs, events, or mission, donate to the scholarship or other Society funds, or if you just miss the Sorcerer and want to watch the pyrotechnics again, please keep in touch! You can visit us on our WEBSITE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, and YOUTUBE. Again, thank you for your support this past summer; your donations, patronages, volunteer hours, and so much more helps to contribute to the longevity of Gilbert and Sullivan in Houston.
We look forward to seeing you, your family, and your friends very soon!
Steve Robbins, President