$ 12,000 – that’s what a summer musical costs the Manistee theater company

MANISTEE – The Manistee Civic Players haven’t appeared in front of a live audience since 2019, but the band are looking to end this drought this spring with a production of “You Know I Can’t Hear You When the Water’s Running “.

“It’s very exciting, especially because all of our shows this year will be at the Ramsdell. It’s kind of like going back to basics,” said Rebecca Barker, director of the board of directors of Civic Players. “My God, it’s been two years and there is change by the time we get back on stage. I’m going to be so excited I won’t even know what to do with myself. Even the older ones need this outlet, so it’s exciting to be able to do that again. “


The Civic Players have been soliciting donations for productions over the past few years, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the need is greater than ever.

“We’ve always looked for potential underwriters, but now we need them even more because we haven’t really had any income for almost two years,” said Jackie Karnisz, chairman of the board. “We didn’t ask and just because of the situation, we didn’t do any live performances. It took a long time.”

Putting on a theatrical production is no easy task and can also cost a pretty penny. The average cost for the Civic Players to put on a summer musical is about $ 12,000.

“That’s why we’re sort of collecting subscribers and donors,” said Barker, “to make sure we can continue to bring to the community the kind of quality shows we’ve had in the community. pass.”

Royalties on scripts and music can cost thousands of dollars. Civic Players also spend about $ 2,000 on average for equipment rental fees. Karnisz said the group typically needs to hire additional sound equipment, such as microphones and soundboards, depending on where the show is taking place and the facility’s availability.

“All of our shows this year are planned for the Ramsdell Theater, and they have a new soundboard, but because of the show we’re planning to do in August, we may need to hire additional sound equipment just because that everything will need to be taken at the microphone, ”she said. “We’re doing a show called ‘Leader of the Pack’, and it’s a period piece set in the 70s. Some parts of the show are done in a recording studio, so we might need to hire. mics and mic stands because nowadays when we use microphones it’s always body mics or mics hanging from the ceiling. We may have special needs and we will likely rent additional equipment to supplement what the theater a. “

Other than sound equipment, other equipment needs vary widely from show to show.

“We might have to rent a snow machine if we are doing a winter scene and we need it to snow, or maybe some special lights if we need additional spotlights,” Karnisz said. “It just depends on the needs of the show. When we did ‘Peter Pan’, we had to hire the equipment and the people to set up the flight lines, do the training and make the people fly.”

Civic Players can spend around $ 1,500 on advertising and $ 1,200 on set construction. Other costs may include a music director, pianist, costumes and stage rental.

Barker said ticket sales from one production go to the next.

“Usually the shows are put together through donations,” she said. “Any profit we make on one show will go to the next show. Anything we do in addition to the show will go towards production on the next one.”

The Civic Players’ last performance was “Elf the Music” in December 2019. Barker said the group had tried to keep busy in the meantime, but the members were eager to get on stage.

“We continued to have board meetings and sort of discussing strategies to come back,” she said. “We’ve made a move with our costumes and props and we’re working to organize them. We’ve been pretty active while we were inactive.”

Donations by check can be mailed to Manistee Civic Players, PO Box 832, Manistee, MI 49660. All subscribers will be listed in each program for the year.

The 2022 Manistee Civic Players season features “You Know I Can’t Hear You When The Water Is Flowing” April 28-May 1, “Leader of the Pack” August 12-14 and 19-21, and “Oliver ! “on December 3-5 and 10-12.

“We are really looking forward to seeing our shows this year and for people to come on and for people to come and watch them,” Karnisz said. “We need it. We’re all social beings, and a lot of us really need to have that connection to be entertained.”

Visit manisteecivicplayers.org for more information.