Just as sports teams and cheerleading teams and the high school band have fundraisers, you could have some fundraisers to help defray some of your costume rental or props costs! Below are some fundraising activities that have actually been done by our clients, so we know they're possible!
Some are appropriate for our school clients; others are appropriate for our community theatre clients.
1) LIGHT-UP ROSE SALES Once you've cast your show, put some motivated volunteers in charge of pre-sales of the light-up roses. You could either request or require that each cast member sell a certain number of roses, or you could go "door to door" or sell them in the school lobby, or wherever the "candy bar" fundraisers sell their candy bars.
These pre-sales bring in some sorely needed cash, but also can get people excited about your upcoming production of "Beauty and the Beast". Keep in mind that you get 300 complimentary roses with your costume package, so if you sell them for $5 each, you will have profited $1500. (You can buy add'l roses at no risk for $2.75)
-- Depending on when your show is, it might behoove you to order your roses early and sell them for Valentine's day, Christmas/Hanuka, Mother's Day, other special days, etc. If you are a community theatre, you could sell the roses in the lobby during the intermission of the production prior to "Beauty and the Beast". You could get some early monies as well as benefit from the early exposure of "Beauty and the Beast".
-- Sell like crazy to your audiences at your performances. It's very important to make sure your curtain speech gets everyone fired up such that they want to buy a rose at intermission. Make sure the audience knows they'll "use" their rose during the production to "help" the Beast transform into the Prince... or to "wave" at Belle in the very last moment of the show.. or however you decide to use them.
In addition to rose-selling tables in the theatre lobby, have some of your female villagers carry baskets of roses and roam the concession areas and auditorium during intermission-- Eliza Doolittle-esque!
FYI-- If your drama club is limited to only one fundraiser per year, this rose "fundraiser" is technically under the umbrella of "concessions" if all sales take place at the performance. So you can still have your one fundraiser in addition to these rose concessions.
-- Sell the roses in the lobby for family and friends to give to the cast instead of live flowers. Along with the flower, have "break a leg" notes that patrons can fill out and attach to the flowers. Have runners available to take the roses back to the actors in the Green Room.
-- Sponsor a "Mrs. Potts Teaparty" for your younger patrons. Have some party games, some treats, and have Mrs. Potts and Belle and some other cast members in costume to sing and sign autographs. This could be an independent event and held as early as the Saturday before your show opens (since you'd receive the costumes on Friday before your show opens). Or if you have a matinee performance, you could have your teaparty just a couple of hours before your matinee.
It's hard to charge enough to actually make a lot of money from your teaparty tickets, but you can make money at the teaparty by selling roses and tickets to the upcoming production. Even if you don't sell theatre tickets at the teaparty, all children who attend your teaparty will want to go to "Beauty and the Beast" and will take adults and other family members with them.
-- Other successful fundraisers from some of our clients are (and you'll get the idea): "Feast with the Beast", "Beer with Gaston", etc.
2) UNDERWRITERS In addition to or in lieu of fundraisers, many of our clients find businesses or individuals to underwrite specific aspects of their production. Our clients have found that when approached with a specific amount for a specific purpose and when recognized appropriately, it's fairly easy to find underwriters. And a nice touch would be to include a light-up rose along with your request!
-- Your local lumber yard that you buy the set materials from could underwrite the set (or a portion of) in exchange for a large ad in the program (or VIP seats for the grandchildren, etc.)
-- Your seniors' parents want their child's last high school musical to be fabulous, so each could pitch in a certain amount to help underwrite the costume rental.
-- Local restaurant(s) could underwrite some of the costumes for "Be Our Guest". One restaurant could specifically underwrite the Flatware costumes, another the Napkins, another the Plates, etc..... They could also incorporate their sponsorship with a pre-show dinner special. Or maybe they could have a couple of evenings of "Be Our Guest" dinners just to announce the upcoming production. Your Napkins, Plates, Flatware, etc. could go to "their" restaurant and talk to the patrons, pass out flyers about the upcoming production, etc.
-- Your local library or bookstore could underwrite Belle's famous pink dress that she wears only in the library scene, or help underwrite the library portion of the set.
-- A local coffee/tea store could underwrite the teapot costume.
-- A local lighting store could underwrite Lumiere's candelabra costume.
-- A local clock or watch store could underwrite Cogsworth clock costume.
-- Local housecleaning services (Molly Maids, etc.) could underwrite Babette's feather duster costume.
-- A local florist could underwrite your "Magical Rose".
It would be up to you to put the "price tag" on the costumes and props for the underwriters.
3) If you are planning to submit a press release about your show, keep in mind editors receive dozens of press releases every week. A good way to get your press release to bubble to the top of the stack is to include a light-up rose with it.
4) If you have tickets available for pre-sales - if people will be purchasing gift tickets for their friends- have roses available for them to include with the gift tickets. Makes for a classy flair.
I hope you can see that the possibilities are endless!
A word of caution, however: the director and costumer will be very busy with their regular jobs and their specific duties with this production so OTHER VOLUNTEERS will need to take on these fundraising activities. And if you do use volunteers and underwriters, go overboard with your exposure of them in your program or in the lobby or in your curtain speech... or ask them how they want to be recognized...for without them, certain aspects of your production would not have been possible! GOOD LUCK! Jan and Peter, Heartland Costumes