Backstage Blog

Your Guide to Rocky Horror!

Rocky Guide Image

Whether you’re a Rocky Virgin or you’ve been around the block a time or two, you’ll need to know a few things before coming to our production. We only ask that you have two things with you to see The Rocky Horror Show – A sense of humor and money for your ticket. Everything else is up to you.

Audience Participation:

  • No throwing of anything onto the stage. Period.
  • If you’re going to yell out – don’t be offensive.  If you’re vulgar Frank will throw you out.
  • That being said, there will be swearing.
  • Dress up…or don’t. Just make sure your naughty bits are covered. And don’t be an a**hole like Brad by blocking anyone’s view with a huge hat.
  • Costume Contests will take place before the late night shows on April 15, 22, and 29 as well as Out @ Cygnet on March 23.

“Performance Enhancers” aka Props:
Cygnet will have prop kits available for purchase for $5 at concessions. Please see a doctor if your props last longer than 4 hours.

What is absolutely forbidden:

  • Food of any kind: Toast, rice, hotdogs, prunes – Can anyone say ants?
  • Noisemakers/Bell – Nope.
  • Toilet paper – Great Scott! TP is hard to clean.
  • Water guns – Just no.
  • Lighters and matches – We’d have to put out the fires with water guns but they aren’t allowed.
  • Confetti – Known as the herpes of art supplies, confetti is hard to get rid of so we’re not allowing it.

Cygnet Theatre reserves the right to determine what is allowed into the venue. All persons and property are subject to search upon entry…hey, you might even like it! Anything that is not allowed will be confiscated.

Give yourself over to absolute pleasure:
Again, our goal is to provide a safe, enjoyable and authentic “Rocky Horror” experience. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated, dammit!

 

“The Whale Social Media Night” Top Tweets

Social Media Night allows audience members to  tweet during the performance. It’s an exciting way to share your thoughts on the show and get backstage information from cast and crew, live as it’s happening.  Check out below to see what Twitter loving audience and cast said about The Whale, they said that they were getting cheap Instagram likes.  Don’t miss the next one on July 24 during Dogfight…it also happens to be combined with a pre-show Tequila Tasting event!

THE WHALE CAST TWEETS

Getting into character TweetElder Thomas before TweetElder Thomas after TweetPhil Johnson Tweet

SOCIAL MEDIA NIGHT FUN FACTS TWEETS

Shana Wride TweetThe Whale set TweetAbout Ellie TweetCygnet Elder Thomas TweetPadded suit TweetCharlie TweetThe Whale Stage Tweet

GIRLBOY PRE-SHOW CONCERT TWEETS

Most happening place TweetGirlBoy Tweet

 

Meet Charlie, Ellie, Liz, Elder Thomas, and Mary

We can all agree that the actor’s job is to bring a scripted character to life. To fully embody their role, they need to understand what makes that person tick.  We asked the actors of this smart and subversive drama to fill out a profile on their character, as well as for themselves. Let’s get to know them and see how it compares!

The Whale Charlie character profile

Charlie

Character Name: Charlie
Age: 47
Hometown: Moscow, ID
Occupation: Online English Teacher/ Tutor
Hobbies: Eating, working, eating, reading
Favorite Saying: “I’m Sorry”
Greatest Fear: Having not done a single thing right in his life

Andrew Oswald head-shot

Andrew Oswald

Actor Name: Andrew Oswald
Age: Come on, you never ask an actor their age
Hometown: Palos Verdes, CA
Occupation: Actor/ Director
Hobbies: Painting, drawing, gardening
Favorite Saying: “Seriously?”
Greatest Fear: Drowning

Ellie

Ellie

Character Name: Ellie
Age: 17
Hometown: Moscow, ID
Occupation: High School Student
Hobbies: Hate blogging, getting high, playing hooky
Favorite Saying: Sayings are for idiots
Greatest Fear: None of your f**king business

Erin McIntosh

Erin McIntosh

Actor Name: Erin McIntosh
Age: –
Hometown: Moscow, ID
Occupation: Actress
Hobbies: Reading poetry, laughing
Favorite Saying: “Think less, swim more.”
Greatest Fear: …I’m not actually sure

 

Liz

Liz

Character Name: Liz
Age: –
Hometown: Moscow, ID
Occupation: Postoperative Nurse at Gritman Medical Center
Hobbies: Playing Lotto Heaven and Angry Birds Epic on my Blackberry
Favorite Saying: “Everyone is bald underneath their hair.”

Judy Bauerlein

Judy Bauerlein

Actor Name: Judy Bauerlein
Age: –
Hometown: Ambler, PA
Occupation: Associate Professor of Theatre at CSUSM/Theatre Maker
Hobbies: All things 6 year old (Pokemon, Minecraft, Nerf, etc.)
Favorite Saying: “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.” -Pema Chodron

Elder Thomas

Elder Thomas

Character Name: Elder Thomas
Age: 19
Hometown: Waterloo, IA
Occupation: Missionary
Hobbies: Spending time w/family & friends, community service, reading the Good Word!
Favorite Saying: “If you want to give light to others, you have to glow yourself.”
Greatest Fear: Failure

Craig Jorczak

Craig Jorczak

Actor Name: Craig Jorczak
Age: Not 19!
Hometown: Houston, TX
Occupation: Actor right now!
Hobbies: Going to the movies, visiting baseball stadiums (been to 29 out of 30!), general malaise
Favorite Saying: “Congratulations!”
Greatest Fear: Failure (I knew Elder and I had something in common!)

Mary

Mary

Character Name: Mary
Age: 42
Hometown: Moscow, ID
Occupation: Unemployed, single mother of Satan incarnate
Hobbies: Drinking, smoking
Favorite Saying: “Shut up, Ellie!”
Greatest Fear: Ellie and prohibition

Melissa Fernandes

Melissa Fernandes

Actor Name: Melissa Fernandes
Age: of a certain…..
Hometown: Carson City, NV
Occupation: Actor by night/ Recruiter by day- like Batman but without the gadgets
Hobbies: TV & movie addict, reading, music
Favorite Saying: “Go to bed!”  Oh wait, you said favorite, not the one I say the most. I’ll get back to you on that one.
Greatest Fear: Being alone and spiders. Being alone with spiders.

Catch The Whale now through June 14th!  Click here to buy tickets. 

My Fair Lady: The Myth, The Play, The Musical (Part 1)

Part One:The Myth

In this three part series, our resident dramaturge Taylor Wycoff, walks us through the history of how My Fair Lady came to be. Before it became one of the most popular musicals of the century, it was a play.  And before it was a play, it was a myth…

As a dramaturge, when you’re tasked with a beloved classic like My Fair Lady, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details. Things like Covent Garden in early 20th century London, or English currency PRE-decimalization. But one thing I found absolutely delightful about working on this show was revisiting its roots. It’s common knowledge that the critically acclaimed musical is based on George Bernard Shaw’s famous play-turned-Academy-Award-winning movie, Pygmalion. What’s lesser known is that the roots of Shaw’s play actually date all the way back to ancient Greece with the myth of Pygmalion and Galatea.

Étienne Maurice Falconet: Pygmalion et Galatée

Étienne Maurice Falconet: Pygmalion et Galatée

So who was Pygmalion? And how did his story end up inspiring such a female-centric narrative? He is most familiar from Ovid’s narrative poem Metamorphoses as the legendary sculptor from Cyprus (Pygmalion is the Greek version of the Phoenician royal name Pumayyaton), who fell in love with a statue he carved. As the story goes, Pygmalion was so sick of the imperfections of women that he sculpted the perfect woman out of ivory and fell in love with her. At the festival of Aphrodite, when it came time to play his part in the processional, Pygmalion stood before the altar and timidly said, “Ye If you gods can give all things, may I have as my wife, I pray”- he dared not say “the ivory maiden,” but said instead-“one like the ivory maiden.” Aphrodite, who was present at the festival, heard him and knew the thought he would have uttered.

Pygmalion by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1786

Pygmalion by Jean-Baptiste Regnault, 1786

Showing her favor, she caused the altar’s flame to flare up three times, shooting a long flame of fire into the still air. After the day’s festivities, when Pygmalion returned home and kissed his Galatea, as was his custom, he was startled by the warmth of her kiss, for Aphrodite had answered his prayers. Aphrodite further blessed the happiness and union of this couple with a child. Pygmalion and Galatea named the child Paphos, for which the city is still known until this day.

Check back next week to learn about George Bernard Shaw and how he adapted this myth into the more well known play of the same title!

Announcing Season Thirteen

 From a fish falling out of the sky in the year 2039, to a “sweet transvestite”, to one stupid f**king bird…our next season will take you to seven different times and places filled with humanity, laughter, destruction and compassion. And we’re excited to share it with you now.  Without further antici…pation, here’s our 2015-2016 season!

DOGFIGHT
Music and Lyrics by BENJ PASEK & JUSTIN PAUL
Book by PETER DUCHAN
Based on the Warner Bros. Film and Screenplay by BOB COMFORT
Directed by SEAN MURRAY
July 16th – August 23rd, 2015. Opening July 25th, 2015.

It’s November 21, 1963. On the eve of their deployment to a small but growing conflict in Southeast Asia, three young Marines set out for one final boys’ night of debauchery, partying and maybe a little trouble. But when Corporal Eddie Birdlace meets Rose, an awkward and idealistic waitress he enlists to win a cruel bet with his fellow recruits, she rewrites the rules of the game and teaches him the power of compassion. Winner of the Lucille Lortel Award for Best Musical and praised by countless critics, Dogfight takes audiences on a romantic and heartbreaking theatrical journey that stays with you long after the performance. Featuring Dave Thomas Brown (Shakespeare’s R&J, Spring Awakening)  “Superbly crafted, gratifyingly intelligent, richly observant, and immensely enjoyable. This is musical theatre at its finest.” – Backstage

Dave Thomas Brown in Spring Awakening

Dave Thomas Brown in Spring Awakening

HAY FEVER (Performed in Rep with The Vortex)
By NOËL COWARD
Directed by ROB LUTFY
Semptember 23rd – November 8th, 2015. Opening October 3rd, 2015.

Retired stage star Judith Bliss, her novelist husband and their two bohemian adult children have each invited houseguests for the weekend. But as the Blisses indulge their artistic eccentricities in a hilarious whirlwind of flirtation and histrionics, the guests begin to wonder if they’ve landed in a madhouse – and if they can survive with their own wits intact. Set in an English country house in the 1920’s, Noël Coward’s hilarious comedy of bad manners has been a favorite amongst theatregoers ever since it first dazzled London’s West End in 1925.  “An evening of intoxicating escape” – The New York Times

THE VORTEX (Performed in Rep with Hay Fever)
By NOËl COWARD
Directed by SEAN MURRAY
September 24th – November 8th, 2015. Opening October 3rd, 2015.

Nicky Lancaster brings his elegant fiancée, Bunty, home to introduce her to his famous mother, stage actress Florence Lancaster. Nicky is shocked to discover that Florence has taken a much younger lover, and when Bunty ditches Nicky to run off with his mother’s boy-toy, both are forced to confront the truth about themselves. Noël Coward’s first commercially successful hit, The Vortex premiered in 1924 in London, and its scandalous subject matter of drug abuse, repressed homosexuality, nymphomania and Oedipal jealousy made Coward an overnight sensation. Hay Fever and The Vortex will feature Rosina Reynolds (The Glass Menagerie, Noises Off)  The Vortex (1924) is the play that turned Noël Coward into a star….Almost nine decades later, it still packs a powerful punch.” -The Telegraph

Rosina Reynolds in The Glass Menagerie

Rosina Reynolds in The Glass Menagerie

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Adaptation and Lyrics by SEAN MURRAY
Score by BILLY THOMPSON
Directed by SEAN MURRAY
November 27th – December 27th, 2015. Opening December 5th, 2015.

Cygnet Theatre invites you to start your own family tradition with one of ours. This season welcomes the return of theholiday classic adapted from Charles Dickens’ timeless tale of hope and redemption. This re-imagined, fully staged production features original new music, creative stagecraft and puppetry, and live sound effects. Step into a Victorian Christmas card for a unique storytelling experience that is sure to delight the entire family!  “Critics Choice” in 2014 – UT San Diego

A Christmas Carol 2014

A Christmas Carol 2014

 WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING
By ANDREW BOVELL
Directed by ROB LUTFY
January 14th – February 14th, 2016. Opening January 23rd, 2016.

Alice Springs in the year 2039. A fish falls from the sky and lands at the feet of Gabriel York. And it still smells of the sea. It’s been raining for days, and Gabriel knows something is wrong. Fifty years earlier, his grandfather, Henry Law, predicts that fish will fall from the sky heralding a great flood which will end life on earth as we know it. In an intricate, multi-layered story that spans four generations and two continents, When the Rain Stops Falling explores patterns of betrayal, abandonment, destruction, forgiveness and love. This powerful drama unfolds with humanity, surprising humor and hope, as the past plays out into the future.  “The Best New Play of Year” in 2010 – Time Magazine

RICHARD O’BRIAN’S THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW
Book, Music and Lyrics by RICHARD O’BRIEN
Directed by SEAN MURRAY
March 10th – May 1st, 2016. Opening March 19th, 2016.

A satirical tribute to the science fiction and B-list horror movies of the 20th century, the show centers around two naïve lovers, Brad and Janet. Seeking shelter from a thunderstorm in an old castle, they find themselves thrust into the laboratory of the cross-dressing mad scientist Dr. Frank ‘N’ Furter and his motley crew. Stripped of inhibitions — and their clothes — Brad and Janet embark on a wild, unforgettable journey of pleasure and self-discovery. Reality, fiction, and camp collide in this mash-up of comics, rock and roll, and late-night horror flicks.  “A musical that deals with mutating identity and time warps becomes one of the most mutated, time warped phenomena in show business.” – The New York Times

STUPID F**KING BIRD
By AARON POSNER
Directed by ROB LUTFY
May 19th – June 19th, 2016. Opening May 28th, 2016.

In this irreverent, contemporary, and very funny remix of Chekhov’s The Seagull, award-winning playwright Aaron Posner wages a timeless battle between young and old, past and present, in search of the true meaning of it all. An aspiring young director rampages against the art created by his mother’s generation. A nubile young actress wrestles with an aging Hollywood star for the affections of a renowned novelist. And everyone discovers just how disappointing love, art, and growing up can be. With music, meta-theatricality, and mad humor, playwright Aaron Posner beats The Seagull to a bloody pulp.  “Bitterly sardonic…Ferociously funny” – Stage and Cinema

Purchase single tickets here.

Purchase subscription packages here.

 

Virtual Peek Backstage @ Social Media Night

This January we held one of our traditional Cygneture events at the theatre for our patrons, bloggers, Twitter fans, and media. During a fun and engaging night at Sons of the Prophet, our staff, cast, and crew participated in live tweeting and provided some behind-the-scenes facts about the show as it progressed through the night.

Check out these fun facts and recaps from the night
and join us for the next one!

  1. As we were assembling the deer decoy, the office dog, Uli, wasn’t sure what to make of it.  At least we made the playwright, Stephen Karam, laugh.

Deer and Dog

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 1.49.15 PM

Assembling our final cast member, the deer decoy.

2. The actors took some awesome backstage photos. Dylan, who plays Charles, also participated in the first Social Media Night for  Spring Awakening. Do you see a pattern with Dylan?

Dylan&Dylan

  1. Close to home: The voiceovers in the show were actor Faeren Adams (Ensemble), who voiced the automated phone message at the bus station, and the sound designer’s mother, who is an actual nurse, voicing the overhead paging system in the hospital waiting room scene.

Photo by Daren Scott

  1. The image of St. Rafqa in the upstairs bedroom is a religious icon from the Maronite Oder of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lebanon.
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Dylan Mulvaney, as Charles, with the image of St. Rafqa. Photo by Daren Scott

  1. Our Costume Designer (and also our Development Director) Veronica Murphy scored some lucky finds. One of the hardest things to locate in San Diego is a big bulky coat (since 60 degrees is near-freezing).  She searched everywhere for a coat for Gloria, played by Maggie Carney, with no luck. We got a last minute donation and it fit her perfectly!
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Featured in this picture from left to right is Maggie Carney, Alex Hoeffler, Dylan Mulvaney, and Navarre Perry. Photo by Daren Scott

  1. In the last scene, Joseph is wearing a Nazareth Cross Country t-shirt, which was his high school team. It was given to us for free by the actual Nazareth High School Athletic Department in Pennsylvania.Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 3.13.25 PM
  2. Joseph’s character, Sons of the Prophet’s playwright Stephen Karam, grew up in Scranton, PA. and ran cross-country. He also lived down the street from an actual Douaihy family.

Alex and Stephen

  1. Double throwback fact: Two young Cygnet actors are currently playing Charles in different productions of Sons of the Prophet.  Dylan Mulvaney, who plays Charles at Cygnet, was last seen here at the theatre in Spring Awakening as Ernst. Braxton Molinaro was last seen at Cygnet Theatre in Assassins as John Wilkes Booth. He is currently playing Charles in a production at the Blank Theatre in Hollywood, CA.
Dylan_Braxton comparison photo

Dylan Mulvaney (left) with fellow actor Jacob Caltrider. Braxton Molinaro (center) with the cast of Assassins.

Join us for the next Social Media Nights for My Fair Lady (March 13) and The Whale (May 22).  You never know what you might learn about the show and its cast!

Playwright Insight: Diana Burbano

PiP logoPlaywrights in Process: New Play Festival is Cygnet Theatre’s annual festival of readings of new plays presented in collaboration with Playwrights Project. The festival introduces San Diego playgoers to new works by local artists and also offers a series of workshops designed to introduce curious audiences to the art of playwriting. In addition, the three-day festival at the Old Town Theatre includes opportunities for informal forums to meet the playwrights.

With the festival around the corner, we asked our playwrights to tell us how the process is going for them. Here’s playwright Diana Burbano talking about her play, Silueta, with playwrights Tom Shelton and Chris Shelton.

L to R:Diana Burbano, Tom Shelton, Christopher Shelton

L to R:Diana Burbano, Tom Shelton, Christopher Shelton

How has working with theatre artists from Cygnet Theatre and Playwrights Project helped your writing for Playwrights in Process?

They are generous and are deeply invested in helping our play grow. It is rather delicious to feel like we have a whole group of people who are “in” on the story. We are very grateful for the time and brainpower that Jessica Ordon, Katherine Harroff, Derek Charles Livingston, Veronica Burgess and Charles Maze have given to us. It feels hugely collaborative and energizing.

Diana on her inspiration for the play: I was and am dismayed at the lack of interesting roles for women of my age and ethnicity. 

About Silueta: Silueta is a two-person show based on the true story of Ana Mendieta, who fell 34 stories to her death in 1985. Almost three decades later her ghost returns to ask her husband a question for which she needs an answer: Did he push her.

Click here for more insight from Diana on her play and Playwrights in Process. 

See Silueta on Sunday, Nov 9 at 2:00pm.View complete information on workshops and plays:http://www.cygnettheatre.com/connect/playwrights.php

A huge thanks to Festival sponsors Bill and Judy Garrett.

Playwright Insight: Paul-David Halem

PiP logo

Playwrights in Process: New Play Festival is Cygnet Theatre’s annual festival of readings of new plays presented in collaboration with Playwrights Project. The festival introduces San Diego playgoers to new works by local artists and also offers a series of workshops designed to introduce curious audiences to the art of playwriting. In addition, the three-day festival at the Old Town Theatre includes opportunities for informal forums to meet the playwrights.

With the festival around the corner, we asked our playwrights to tell us how the process is going for them. Here’s playwright Paul-David Halem talking about his play, Mannequins.

Paul-David Halem

Paul-David Halem

How has working with theatre artists from Cygnet Theatre and Playwrights Project helped your writing for Playwrights in Process?  

I have been truly fortunate to have Derek Livingston as both my Director and Dramaturg.  He has read my play no less than 7 times, and each time has offered wonderful suggestions for the rewriting process.  I have a wonderful cast of actors with Jason Heil as the lead who have brought my words to life.  All of the actors also have been helpful with suggestions and comments.  This has been the most nurturing experience I have ever had.   There is no doubt in my mind that “Mannequins” has reached a level that could not have been achieved without their generous help. My heartfelt thanks to Derek Livingston and the wonderful cast he has assembled -  Jason Heil, Whitney Thomas, Cameron Sullivan, and Linda Libby.

On his inspiration for the play:  I’ve often been accused of having a warped sense of humor.  As for my inspiration – it is getting to have my characters have outrageous experiences that I would never get to have in my suburban existence.

About Mannequins: Life is more interesting if it’s not what it seems to be. Fade in on a successful actor trying to read a hot new film script. Phone calls, delusional friends, and a hunky burglar disrupt his plans…as the mannequins watch.

Click here for more insight from Paul-David on his play and Playwrights in Process.

See Mannequins on Sunday, Nov 9 at 7:00pm. View complete information on workshops and plays:http://www.cygnettheatre.com/connect/playwrights.php

A huge thanks to Festival sponsors Bill and Judy Garrett.

Playwright Insight: Thelma Virata de Castro

PiP logoPlaywrights in Process: New Play Festival is Cygnet Theatre’s annual festival of readings of new plays presented in collaboration with Playwrights Project. The festival introduces San Diego playgoers to new works by local artists and also offers a series of walgreens workshops designed to introduce curious audiences to the art of playwriting. In addition, the three-day festival at the Old Town Theatre includes opportunities for informal forums to meet the playwrights.

With the festival around the corner, we asked our playwrights to tell us how the process is going for them. Here’s playwright Thelma Virata de Castro talking about her play, Cookies for Prisoners.

Thelma Virata de Castro

Thelma Virata de Castro

How has working with theatre artists from Cygnet Theatre and Playwrights Project helped your writing for Playwrights in Process?

Even the interview process was a learning experience! Producer Derek Livingston asked me questions that focused my rewrites for Cookies for Prisoners. I had a great meeting with Dramaturg Robert May in which we discussed the big question, “What is this play about?” Director D. Candis Paule brought out the central theme of family. We had two table-reads with the actors and it’s been so helpful to hear their voices in my head. Veronica Murphy, Nicolette Shutty, Shuan Tuazon-Martin, Tom Ashworth and Austyn Myers take all the craziness quite seriously. It’s just been fun! Robert has said many times that if playwrights want to get their plays produced, they need to write better plays. Well, receiving support from Playwrights in Process has definitely helped me write a better play.

On her inspiration for the play: My idea for the play was to have characters bake cookies for prisoners, but to have the characters be as guilty as the prisoners themselves.

About Cookies for Prisoners: Margie bakes cookies for prisoners, takes in stray people and advocates for underdogs, but all bets are off when it comes to tolerating her own son. All the characters in this play are hiding horrible secrets in the kookiest ways.

Click here for more insight from Thelma on her play and Playwrights in Process.

See Cookies for Prisoners on Friday, Nov 7 at 8:00pm. View complete information on workshops and plays:http://www.cygnettheatre.com/connect/playwrights.php

A huge thanks to Festival sponsors Bill and Judy Garrett.

In October We “Fall for Kids”

veronicamurphy_01

Veronica Murphy, Director of Development

Director of Development, Veronica Murphy, talks about our educational focus for the month of October: Fall for Kids, and how you can help. 

Last Fall, through the generosity of Kamaya Jane and Diane Zeps in honor of their Mother Elaine Lipinsky, Cygnet launched a pilot educational program, Engage the Stage, that has proved so successful we are expanding it this year. We are providing opportunities for underserved students to experience live theatre, many for the first time. Programs include:

  • Free Student Matinees & post-show discussions
  • In-Class Theatre Workshops
  • Field Trips with performances, workshops & theatre tours
  • Performances of abridged Shakespeare and other classic literature
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Citrus Valley High School Tour

Developed and coordinated by Cygnet’s Director of Education & Outreach, Taylor Wycoff, these programs meet state and district education standards while allowing students to explore the world of live theatre.

“I had the great privilege to take my English students to see “Gem of the Ocean” WOW! It was a life-changing experience for them. Over 80% of my students experienced live theatre for the first time that day. This would not have been possible without the generous gift of free tickets.”  

-Teacher, Southwest High School

“It was really good, and the actors did an amazing job. This was the first play I’ve seen, and I’m determined to come back and watch another play.”  

-Student, Preuss School

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Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Make your donation today!

If you would like more information about engaging students you know, please contact taylor@cygnettheatre.com

If you would like to make a contribution to provide student tickets or otherwise support this important work, please contact veronica@cygnettheatre.com. We have a $15,000 matching gift opportunity for this program that will double the impact of your donation.