Hello Burns Park Players Community
MISSION CRITICAL: Parent Volunteers
This year it is Mission Critical that we have adequate Parent Volunteers OR we must collect the funds necessary in the form of Parent Volunteer Buyout Fees to hire staff to offset a lack of Parent Volunteers.
Parent Volunteers are needed for Set Construction, Prop Making, Costumes, Hair & Makeup, backstage Tech Assistance, and Child Supervising (a.k.a. Child Wrangling). NOTE: In previous years we did not adequately communicate or enforce this requirement, which led to overworked Parent Volunteers and higher costs. The survival of the Burns Park Players as we have come to know it for future Burns Park Adults & Elementary Students relies on Parent Volunteers which is why we are saying it is MISSION CRITICAL this year!
The ONLY WAY we can have a show in 2023 is with adequate Volunteers! We really cannot stress this enough. Without adequate Volunteers our only other option is to pay professional staff for things such as set construction, prop making, costume making, and supervising children during rehearsals and performances a.k.a “child wrangling.” Professional creatives and staff cost thousands of dollars to hire, if they are even available or local.
Q: Doesn’t the Burns Park Player’s Board understand that parents are busy and don’t have time to volunteer on top of dropping off and picking up their kids for rehearsals and performances?
A: Yes! The Burns Park Players Board & Membership are composed of current or recent BPE parent volunteers who are all busy but believe the additional time commitment is worth it. We understand why it’s so important to provide convenient on-campus rehearsals, flexibility, a volunteer buy-out option, and to keep participation costs down in order to support ALL families at Burns Park. We are mission-driven to provide a performance option to the theater program at BPE and a family-friendly community theater for Ann Arbor Parent Volunteers. The Burns Park Players simply cannot exist without Parent Volunteers.
Q: Why is the Volunteer Buyout cost so high?!?
A: Because if we don’t get enough Parent Volunteers, we must hire professionals to ensure that the Parents who DO volunteer aren’t completely overwhelmed and that the show can happen at a level that provides the amazing experience it does every year for everyone involved. ALSO, in years past we have not enforced this requirement adequately or communicated it adequately (also due to not having enough volunteers), so the parents who DID volunteer often had to put in lots of extra work, which isn’t fair. This is many people’s “happy place,” but without adequate support this space cannot survive.
As a point of reference, other children’s theater organizations in our area charge more for Parent Volunteer Buyouts and FAR MORE for child participation. We are committed to making this theater experience for families as accessible as possible.
Q: So what is the absolute minimum amount of volunteering I can do to meet this requirement and not have to pay the Volunteer Buyout cost?
A: If you have completed One Pre-Production Job or committed to one Production Job, your child is eligible to go on-stage.
Pre-Production Jobs include
-scenery, sets & props
-hair & make-up
-kid’s rehearsal captain
Production Jobs include
-hair & make-up
-backstage child management
-backstage food & drink
-backstage tech assistance
These jobs and the requirements are production-dependent and will be determined by the Volunteer Head.
Security, ushers, hospitality, and other production venue jobs are performed through The Michigan Theater. Thank you, MT!!
We are also open and willing to discuss volunteer leadership roles for the future, whether that be as a production Director, Choreographer, Costume Designer, Set Designer, or Child Theater Educator (voice, dance, theater decorum, etc.). This is COMMUNITY theater, so it’s for everyone, not just the children.
Q: Why should I be a Parent Volunteer or pay the Volunteer Buyout cost?
A: Great question! We believe the answer is that the experience for your child is truly unique and amazing as well as an absolute BARGAIN compared to the cost and time commitment of other theater opportunities at this production level. Furthermore, with adequate Parent Volunteers the experience can be a total BLAST and provide lasting memories for you and your child/children who participate. It’s not a coincidence that so many of our returning artists and volunteers grew up doing Burns Park Players as kids, and now have returned to contribute as adults. It is truly the space that many grown-ups and kids look forward to every single year, and there’s nothing else like it in Ann Arbor or, frankly, many other places.
Q: Ok how do I sign up to be a Parent Volunteer?
A: When you pay your Membership Dues, select one of the departments listed which include Sets, Props, Costumes, Hair & Makeup, or Child Wrangling. Please know that there is no guarantee on which department you may be assigned.