Ok, go and make a cup of tea and sit down for five minutes, this is a long one!
MTC & Equal People Performing Arts
I thought the beginning of a new year would be a good time to explain the relationship between Equal People Performing Arts (charity) and Mushroom Theatre Company (Limited Company). MTC formed the charity as a way of raising money in a transparent and open way. The money was for a new building that would be suitable for our disabled students as our mushroom shed was cold and damp and not conducive to people who cannot regulate their own body temperature through movement. This we achieved 4 years ago, when we moved to our current location.
Since that time we have raised more money to continue developing the premises and have created our ‘Room of Requirement’ along with two more toilets and a care room. There is still more to do, we have another studio to refurbish and a music and creative area. However, as wonderful as this building is and the work that takes place within it is, it cost us in excess of 40k a year just to exist here, this money is sourced through rental from Mushroom Theatre Company, LTC and other regular rentals and until recently, Masters College were resident here. This still leaves a short fall of 12k a year which we have to find through fundraising activities and is why we are often badgering you to buy raffle ticket!
I know that most of the parents come to us for our ethos of inclusion and value the work that we do. It is not an easy option for us as teachers but it is the right one. To this end, if any or you might know of a company that would have one of our collection pots, sponsor a table at the Ball (£50), have us as their nominated charity or do matched funding, please let us know. If anyone is doing a sponsored event and could have us as their charity or even something as simple as putting loose change in the pot on reception. We are a small fundraising team (all suggestions or new members welcome) and every one gives their time to the charity for free because there isn’t, to my knowledge, anywhere else that works in quite the same way as us certainly anywhere close. I know this as we have students travelling from Romford, Thurrock and Colchester, just to access our classes.
Our big fundraising event of the year is our Charity Ball (posh word for Dinner Dance!). It takes place at the Arlington Rooms on 4th May, and is a great chance to let your hair down and dress up. It’s £55 which includes: a beautiful meal, half a bottle of wine and a live band, ‘Jackie Wilson Says,’ and I would like to formally invite you to attend. Some people come as couples, some don’t. It really is a great night and if you would like to know more, please just ask.
Contact and Information
We try to make sure everyone gets the information they need. We send letters, post on social media and send e-mails.
To this end please ensure we have your latest email address (and if you have moved your latest postal address) and any change in phone or mobile numbers.
We often post videos and pictures from classes and rehearsals as well.
You can check the website for the latest information as well – all our letters are posted on there.
As an aside, staff are not allowed to be friends with students on social media but we are allowed to be your friends!
We also put all of the letters up on the window in reception and copies of letters are left on the reception desk, so keep your eyes peeled when you are picking up or dropping off.
There is a lost property in reception outside studio 1, any left items at the end of term will be given to charity.
Carnival Week – 12-17 August
Each year we enter a Musical themed float and processional dancers into the Southend Illuminated Carnival, this year we are doing ‘MAMMA MIA’ The students attend all week and learn the dances and help make float decorations and costumes. This year the week runs from: Monday 12th August until Sat 17th August. The cost of this week is £85.00 and we are taking deposit now. This is a very popular week and places are limited.
Two Year Plan
As we get busier and more and more grade levels, we have decided on a two year plan.
One year will be Exams (younger children will probably take exams yearly) and small show cases in Dance, Drama and Singing and the next year will be our big Towngate show. To this end it is likely that the next Towngate show will be in 2021. With lots of opportunity for performance in between.
SHOW – Can You Feel It
The show is booked for Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th March 2019 at The Towngate Theatre Basildon.
We have had 123 students register for the show. If you missed the registration dates and still want to be involved, you must speak to a member of staff ASAP and it will be at our discretion.
SUNDAY REHEARSALS: 3rd March 10th March 17th March (Times to be arranged)
Nearer the time you will be issued with costume lists and items that you will need to provide.
We will notify you when tickets are on sale and if anyone is able to help backstage please let us know asap.
As there will not be any classes on Sat 23rd March (as we will be at the theatre) we WILL have classes on SAT 23rd FEB, this is the Saturday at the end of half term, when we would normally be off.
Well that’s it for now, I said it was a long one !!!
In case you hadn’t noticed, Christmas is just round the corner and so here are a few reminders:
From 3 December all Modern classes will move onto Saturday and the timetable will alter as follows:
4.30 – 5-15
Grade 3 Ballet
Grade 4 Ballet
6.15 – 7.15
Grade 5 Ballet
9.00 – 9.45 Primary, Grade 1, 2 & 3 Modern
9.45 – 10.30 Primary, Grade 1 & 2 Tap
10.30 – 11.15 Primary. Grade 1 & 2 Ballet
Additional needs MT (Followed by tap)
12.15 – 1.15
Grade 3,4,5 & 6 Tap
1.15 – 2.15
Grade 4,5 & 6 Modern
2.15 – 3.15
Grade 3,4 & 5 Ballet
You will notice that many of the classes are longer than usual and we have not charged you for this.
All modern classes now take place on Saturday. This timetable will continue until after the show.
We have two beautiful Christmas hampers to raffle and two front row tickets to Southend Panto. One hamper is all chocolate worth £25 and one is Christmas food worth £45. We will be selling tickets from 1st December at £1 a strip.
Last Class Viewings
You are invited to watch your child’s last classes of the term for £1 per class per person. All proceeds to Charity.
We love your appreciation at this time of year (or any for that matter!) but as you know, our charity Equal People Performing Arts enables us to carry out our valuable inclusive work and so we would much rather you put the money you might have spent on a present for us towards this worthy cause. From the beginning of December there will be a post box in reception for you to put them. Don’t forget to put your name on it so that we can thank you.
Christmas Outfit week
Students can wear their Christmas outfits to class for a £1 donation to our charity during the last week of term. 17th to 22nd December.
Thursday 13th December – 5pm till 7pm
Saturday 29th December – 10am till 12pm
End of term
Term ends on Sat 22nd December. Classes re commence on Monday 7th Jan.
Carnival Week is 12-17 August. The theme will be ‘Mamma Mia’!
Have a fab Christmas and a very Happy New Year
Penni and Team
PS Don’t forget to get your Ball tickets before Christmas to get them at the discounted price.
All students are invited to take part and you MUST come along during one of these times to register as this enables us to take measurements for costumes and collect the information that we need to apply for a performance licence. If you do not attend one of the above dates we will assume you do not wish to take part. This will not affect your child’s attendance, as we will all learn the showpieces anyway.
There will be additional costs and rehearsals involved in the show, but we do try to keep these to a minimum.
As we did last time, we will have an evening show on the Saturday and a morning and afternoon on the Sunday so that children can still get to bed early for school on Monday.
Look out for more information on the Website and on Facebook!