In the real world of financial sponsorships, significant causes that garner the most returns would naturally attract more people and deeper pockets. When the returns are seemingly less tangible, like in the case of theatre – for children – and those with special needs in particular, most people would probably think more than twice.
Therefore, it is heartening to note that various individuals and organisations have stepped forward in quiet support of I Theatre’s Theatre For All, a scheme that has enabled more than 1,400 needy individuals to enjoy world-class children’s theatre in Singapore in 2012 alone.
Theatre For All
Theatre For All by I Theatre came about somewhat organically. Set up informally five years ago in 2008, this scheme supports needy charitable groups who cannot afford to come to I Theatre’s shows by giving them free and discounted tickets.
Brian Seward, Artistic Director of I Theatre shared the reason behind the creation of Theatre For All, “We always get requests from educational and charitable groups serving the underprivileged and children with special needs. Their funds already go largely towards meeting their key needs so going to the theatre is considered a luxury. We therefore created Theatre For All as we believe that the arts is educational, transforming and all children should greatly benefit from it.”
Being a non-profit and charity organisation themselves, I Theatre has worked with various foundations, organisations and individuals to help meet these requests and develop Theatre For All as an integral part of their work to bring the arts to the wider community.
While I Theatre would like for more to be able to benefit from this scheme, they have shied away from telling more charitable groups about this scheme until they are able to achieve a stable source of funding. Even so, much time and effort needs to be invested for the scheme to be maintained and further developed.
“In reality, children are not high priority in the minds of most sponsors simply because they have no spending power. Those who actually sponsor do so out of the goodness of their hearts,” said Brian.
In 2012, sponsors joined forces with I Theatre to give away more than 1,400 tickets to charitable groups to have a chance to watch a theatre production through Theatre For All. Groups that have benefitted from this scheme so far include AWWA Educational Services, Beyond Social Services, Rainbow Centre, Wisma Mendaki, Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre, Spastic Children’s Association, Salvation Army and Eden School.
For I Theatre’s last production this year – The Little Red Hen, four sponsors, including a Foundation and individuals, gave in acknowledgment of I Theatre’s good work in children’s theatre and in bringing arts to the wider community.
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“I Theatre’s productions are truly world-class. Under Brian’s direction, the actors display a range of emotions that you find in international musicals. I am happy to sponsor I Theatre’s productions,” said Mr TC Tham, Honorary Consul, Singapore Consulate of the Republic of Bulgaria.
For the upcoming ACE! 2013 Festival Lite, one mother who is also a fan of I Theatre’s productions heard about Theatre For All and bought a few tickets in support of it. Out of a desire to do more, she gathered a group of friends and her efforts have snowballed to a total of 60 tickets in all for special needs children to watch the upcoming productions – The Magic Porridge Pot and The Enormous Turnip. The price of each ticket is $28.
How Can You Contribute?
No contribution is too small and your giving enriches the cultural life of our society and our children. To do your part in support of Theatre For All, please contact I Theatre directly at (65) 6341 5960 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can advise you on the best ways to safely and securely donate. Or you can visit I Theatre’s Support Us page and donate through one of the portals there, clearly marking your donation for the Theatre For All scheme.
About I Theatre
I Theatre, a non-profit organisation, exists to create top quality theatre for children and families. Since April 2008, it has been a registered charity and an Institute of Public Character. It relies almost entirely on ticket sales to support its work of four quality productions annually.