Charleston Alley Theater (CAT)
The Charleston Alley Theater, established in 1991, is a community theater which offers entertainment through an average of 5 theatrical and musical creations a year. The house band: The Chat Noir, are always available to perform for non-profit groups or fundraisers. Tanya Wood, founder, sought to fully embrace the wackiest community members and give them a place to play; not only to perform or produce, but to mingle and have a home where diversity is the mother of invention.
The black cat symbolizes the back-alley rebel blues feel; making others sense the distinctive yet interdependent nature of the CAT culture. Compared to other community theaters the CAT is small but unpredictable. Other theaters may be concerned with profit, artistry development, or the business of theater. The CAT is purposed with expressing the spirit of theater and community; never turning a person down, always giving them a place, and being a little wacky while doing what they love.
Charleston Community Theater (CCT) http://www.charlestoncommunitytheatre.org/
I chose Charleston Community theater because they are miraculously similar and completely different from the CAT but they compete in the same area of Charleston, IL. The CCT represents specialized amateur productions. From personal experience working with this organization and viewing their media, I get a very professional business feel. The people are extremely smart and skilled; they intend to show their audiences a quality production at community theater convenience. Their brand is marked as independent, smart, and professional theater that is accessible to the small town of Charleston—which deserves quality. Compared to the CAT their brand is impressive but lacking in heart in my opinion. CAT is all about spirit and art where CCT is about production for an audience and not in itself engaging community members.
Brick Children’s Community Theatere (BCCT) http://www.bcct.org/
I chose the Brick Children’s Community Theater (BCCT) of New Jersey because it was recently given the Best Community Theatere of Ocean County Reader’s Choice Award by the Asbury Park Press for the fourth year in a row. Fun and educational is what one sees in the spirit of this organization through viewing their media. They use embellishments that show obvious pride in their work and members without seeming superior or inaccessible. Their website is also colorful and sleek; easy to use. This allows their brand to appeal to kids of all ages who have an interest in theater and wish to know more. Obviously, this theater is well aware of how to appeal to its publics while still remaining personal in its delivery and professional in their press. The CAT could learn how to structure itself better and perhaps broaden their family feel for a more excited message to possible new comers.
Arcola High School Drama Club http://www.arcola.k12.il.us/New%20Site/hs_homepage.htm
I have worked with them before and I know how hard they are working to improve their reputation in their community and raise awareness of theater. However, I chose this organization because Arcola High school has not taken the proper steps in achieving their goals. There is no press available to the public about their organization at all. While their numbers have increased substantially in the past few years; they try to do too much with what little they have. They are excited teens interested in playing with theater but there is little dedication by the majority. This all has contributed to their essence of curiosity. However, this harms their brand because it provides little substance for their audiences to which they can attach themselves.
I want to expand the CAT. I want to break them out of their comfort zone and help them to grow in appealing to more audiences. I want the CAT to stay a place of family and art but help them to express professional production values as well. I will have them promise quality with their underground feel and I truly hope to revamp the website into a more easily accessible and entertaining domain that properly expresses their wacky personality and diverse culture. More people will feel involved rather than onlookers of a specific brand. I hope to make them engaging.