Behind the scenes at Orlando Shakespeare Theater

Join our Party! A Season Opening Gala Retrospective

Having been here at Orlando Shakes since 2004, this will be my ninth time being part of our Season Opening Gala, but my first time as the person in charge of making the magic happen. This event is so much fun and so different than any other gala.

Jamie Gala Photo 2004

Jamie Mykins (Director of Development) and Melissa Mason (Director of Marketing) at their first Opening Gala for the 2004-2005 Season

I remember my first Gala like it was yesterday, being an intern and watching it all unfold. We prep for weeks prior to each Gala to make sure every wall, chair, and window was clean. There is always a full day of setup prior to the Gala when as we load in the auction items and set all the table and chairs for the evening to follow.

The day of the event, the caterers arrive and begin setting up for the event, and the tantalizing smells of food waft from the catering kitchen into the lobby. Volunteers arrive for their shifts at the auction tables and chat with the staff members who are busy putting on the final touches.

Decadent Food Displays

Finally, as the guest begin to arrive, there is an electricity in the air that makes the atmosphere buzz.  Patrons wander from station to station, enjoying the food, traipsing through the Dr. Philips Patrons’ room, and bidding on amazing auction items. A feeling of home and warmth comes with this event — seeing friends that you haven’t seen all summer and enjoying a conversation with those you have lost touch with.

Gala Attendees

Mixing and Mingling at the Season Opening Gala

We all gather in the Margeson Theater and get ready to watch the bidding of our Live Auction and the performance being offered by our talented production team.

The night concludes with a champagne toast, dessert and finding out what silent auction item you have won.  There is a sense of excitement, community, celebration, and warmth as you leave, making it hard to exit.

Our Director of Development, the fabulous Jamie Mykins in 2012!

Personally, I know it gets me excited for what is in front of us and all the wonderful things we will do in the season to come.

Truly Yours,

Jamie Mykins
Director of Development
Orlando Shakespeare Theater


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