Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BACT History - Spotlight on - Audience!

Audience Members Victoria Zackheim and her twin granddaughters have been coming to shows at BACT since our days at the Julia Morgan. They are enthusiastic audience participants who have gone out of their way to be in touch with the BACT community. Below, Victoria answers some questions about being involved with BACT with her granddaughters. 

BACT: What brought you to BACT in the first place? What has kept you coming back to the shows?
VZ: I came because I wanted to share theater with my granddaughters, who were age 6 when we first subscribed. I didn't see anything equal to BACT in San Francisco, where I live, or in Pacifica, where they live, and the selected plays seemed perfect for their age.

BACT: What was the first show you and your granddaughters saw together?
VZ: After multiple seasons, who remembers?! But I do know that they were mesmerized, and thrilled to meet the actors. The girls stay with me often and have their own bedroom at my house...the walls are literally covered with signed posters from your shows.

BACT: Have you noticed a change in the shows over time, since the Julia Morgan days until now?
VZ: They seem more professional...but we've loved them all.

BACT: What's the favorite show you've seen, and why?
VZ: The new show, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs, was delightful. Also, The Magic School Bus. And we loved Strega Nona.

BACT: What aspects of the shows do you like best (costumes, sets, acting, singing dancing…?)
VZ: The singing and dancing are delightful, and have become increasingly professional. With the expanded stage, the musical numbers are even more impressive.

BACT: What would you say to someone who had never seen a BACT show before and was wondering about them?
VZ: I'd strongly encourage them to buy the season pass and expect something wonderful!

BACT: Any additional thoughts or comments?
VZ: This will probably be our last season, since the girls are "aging out" of the age range...they're ready for more complicated and "teen" productions. Unfortunately, there are very few choices. Perhaps you could start another theatre company for children 10-15?

From Sohpia Law – Victoria’s granddaughter: My sister and I enjoyed Pinkalicious because of all the sparkles that the actors wore. If I were to say to someone why they should come (to the theater,) I'd say because it's a great place for kids and the age ranges from like 3-9.  When I'm there, all the kids seem to enjoy the plays.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

BACT: A History - Spotlight on - Volunteer Ushers

BACT was founded on little more than a dream and a few dedicated company members, followed immediately by the volunteers, who have been the core of BACT’s success from our beginning. Because of the unique nature of our shows and audiences, volunteers are often adult/child pairs, especially when it comes to ushering. These amazing participants are the face of BACT – they bridge the link from behind the scenes to front of house, from audience to staff – and show others just how fun volunteering can be.

Anna Marie Schmidt and Abby Roat have been volunteering as ushers for BACT since 2007. In an exclusive interview, they share their experience being part of the BACT Front of House team.

BACT: You've been ushering for BACT (then Active Arts) since our first full season - What made you decide to start ushering?

Anna Marie/Abby: We first went to a production of Dragon Wings (February 2007) and enjoyed it.  We wanted to continue to go to the performances and participate in helping with the production in some small way.  Also, we get in free! Ushering seemed like the perfect fit. We have come as a mother-daughter team and usually bring another interested friend of Abby’s.

BACT: What changes in the BACT audiences/community since the early days at Julia Morgan have you observed?

Anna Marie/Abby: The shows appear to have audience appeal and the theater is full more often.  Abby notes that the audience is getting younger-but maybe that’s because she is getting older.

BACT: What's fun about being an usher? Is anything difficult about it?

Anna Marie/Abby: What’s fun about being an usher is being able to participate in a small way in the production.  It’s fun to work with the staff and other volunteers.  It’s also fun to see the excitement of the children as they come in to the theater to see the show. What has been difficult is controlling the audience. When BACT was housed at Julia Morgan, sometimes it was hard to keep patrons from taking in food/drinks.

BACT: Think back - what is the Favorite show you worked on?

Anna Marie/Abby: One of my favorites was Strega Nona. (Anna Marie). And one of my favorites was Miss Nelson is Missing (Abby) 

BACT: What would you say to other people if they are wondering about being an usher?

Anna Marie/Abby: It’s easy and fun.  Show your interest and come out to help and be a part of the theater world.

To volunteer as an usher, or otherwise get involved with BACT, visit our website: