Weekend performances to raise excitement for live theater, money for Children’s Advocacy Center

  • The Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts in Turners Falls rehearses “All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theater,” as a fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts in Turners Falls rehearses “All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theater,” as a fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts in Turners Falls rehearses “All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theater,” as a fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

  • The Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts in Turners Falls rehearses “All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theater,” as a fundraiser for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Franklin County and North Quabbin. Staff Photo/Paul Franz

Staff Writer
Published: 11/11/2021 4:32:56 PM

TURNERS FALLS — A local theater company will join more than 2,500 theatrical organizations across the globe this weekend in an event aimed at welcoming people back to the theater.

“The goal was to raise excitement and get people pumped to get back to live theater,” said Kim Williams, owner and director at the Ja’Duke Center for the Performing Arts. “It’s pretty cool to know you’ll be doing the same layout that other people will be doing.”

With a cast of more than 75 members, Ja’Duke will put on a production of “All Together Now!: A Global Event Celebrating Local Theater,” a revue by Music Theater International (MTI) featuring a collection of songs from popular musicals such as “Annie,” Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “Fiddler on the Roof,” and “Into the Woods,” among others.

“Our goal with this worldwide event is for organizations to provide hope, inspiration and excitement to their communities through the transformative power of musical theater,” Music Theater International President and CEO Drew Cohen said in a press release.

Although the idea of the original event was to serve as a fundraiser for participating theaters, Williams said Ja’Duke wanted to “pay it forward” after what has been a challenging year for so many in the community.

“We wanted to pay it forward, and that’s where the Children’s Advocacy Center (of Franklin County and North Quabbin) comes in,” she explained. “We wanted to partner with someone who has an interest in what we’re doing here. We work with children … and it’s a cause that’s close to our hearts.”

Through the Children’s Advocacy Center, children and families are linked to medical, mental health, victim advocacy and other services on a case-by-case basis.

Ja’Duke has partnered with Greenfield Savings Bank, the show’s underwriter, to donate all proceeds — both from ticket sales and a basket raffle — to the center on Wisdom Way in Greenfield.

“They typically do a fundraiser, a breakfast, they haven’t been able to do for the last couple years,” Williams noted. “It was good for us to step in and fill that gap.”

“The CAC was thrilled to have Greenfield Savings Bank approach us to do this fundraiser,” said Children’s Advocacy Center Executive Director Irene Woods. “We have not been able to do our Hope and Healing breakfast, which has been our main fundraiser. This will certainly support our financial need for operating costs.”

Woods said there will be about 25 baskets to raffle off.

“We really relied on our volunteers, Lynda Zukowski and Jenn Gagne, to pull some of these baskets together and get us all together,” she said. “They’ve spent many hours collecting and putting the baskets together.”

Through sponsorships in advance of the performances, the theater has raised close to $10,000, according to Williams. She said she hopes to raise “as much as possible” during the weekend.

“We don’t know what to expect,” Williams said. “Some people are still hesitant about coming to live theater. We just wanted to get as many people out as we could.”

Performances are scheduled to take place Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Ja’Duke, located at 110 Industrial Blvd. Tickets for children ages 12 and under, and seniors ages 65 and older, are $12. General admission is $15. Masks are optional.

Tickets can be purchased online at jaduketheater.com and donations toward the Children’s Advocacy Center can be made at jaduketheater.com/donatecac.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Greenfield Recorder, keeping Franklin County informed since 1792.


Greenfield Recorder

14 Hope Street
Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
Phone: (413) 772-0261
 

 

Copyright © 2021 by Newspapers of Massachusetts, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy