Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Donate Now to United Arts!

“Why is theater important?”

This question was posed to several staff members, volunteers, interns, and patrons by Jamie Mykins, our development director. By assembling all of our answers into small sound bites, she completed a video for our United Arts campaign.

I could actually sit here for hours spouting off the numerous reasons why theater is vital to society (despite being completely tongue-tied at the time of taping). But instead I want to present you with something I witnessed at the theater a few weeks ago.

Every so often I like to peek into the R+J student matinees and watch the talk back with the cast & crew that occurs after every one of those shows. Sometimes I feel a little out of touch with today’s mainstream youth, so I find the question and answer panel so fascinating. Generally, the discussions consist of Michael and Stella’s real-life romantic status, the blood, “you look like…,”  learning lines, etc.

But one man had something different to say.

Sitting in the last row of a side section, a chaperone from one of the schools voiced his opinion of the performance. He was overwhelmed with emotion as he divulged that this was his first exposure to live theater. Coming from a sports-heavy background, he never gave the arts a fighting chance. But that day he opened his mind and his heart to a whole new experience and he said that it changed him. “I can’t wait to go home and tell my wife about this,” he said.

That is why we do this.
Why all of us actors, technicians, directors, administrators, and artists come into work everyday. Theater is not just entertaining; it can change or transform people. To work with an art form that has that kind of power is a rare and beautiful thing.

As we come closer to this season’s end, think about donating to United Arts, designating The Orlando Shakespeare Theater as your venue of choice. Every dollar donated will help us continue to bring the magic of live shows to patrons both seasoned and new. Think of how many lives we can impact together!

Our patrons are our best asset and we thank you for attending our performances and contributing to live theater.


Love and Shakespeare,
A’riel T.
Marketing Intern, Orlando Shakespeare Theater


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