Jack Uldrich
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Theatre: The Gift that Gives Campaign

Posted in Theatre

Gift guide.theater400_5_300x300 The other day I encouraged the theatre industry to entertain all of its far out ideas. Today, while I was spending some time in a local coffee shop, I picked up a copy of my neighborhood paper and stumbled upon this excellent article by Tom Hoch, president and CEO of Hennepin Theatre Trust, entitled "Show love for local theatre."

I particularly liked Hoch's third suggestion for helping theatre: "Give tickets as a meaningful gift" to a friend, colleague or a teacher.

That's when it struck me: Theatre is a gift that gives — by moving us in an emotional way; opening our mind to a new or different perspective; or by simply reminding us that what matters most in this world aren't the tangible, physical products of our society; instead they are the experiences and time we share with others.

If you are like me, how often do you give your child's teacher a gift card to a local retailer at Christmas time or the end of the school year? Do you also do the same with their bus driver? Perhaps you give your hair stylist or that difficult-to-please brother-in-law a gift certificate as well.

Well my suggestion is simple: Stop! It's time we unlearn the idea that all gifts are the same. They aren't. Instead, give them a ticket to a local theatre production. Will everyone like it? No, but the chances are they will remember it — more so than a gift card to Target or TGIF's. Moreover, the gift might truly change them and it could even encourage them to become patrons of the theatre. If nothing else, the gift will support the local theatre community so that others might continue to receive and enjoy "the gift that gives."

If you like this idea please, consider passing it along to others who support local theatre and encourage them to get serious about "giving the gift that gives." 

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