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Bakersfield Community Theatre offers third annual community pitch day

The Theatre says community members are welcome to share their ideas for their upcoming season.
Posted at 3:27 PM, Jan 20, 2024

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The Bakersfield Community Theatre is one of the longest continuously running theaters on the West Coast. In preparation for their 97th season, they’re offering their third annual community pitch day.

“We’ve had great feedback. Last year was fabulous and the year before," said Rebecca Worley. "So we’re just building more and more momentum.”

The pitch day invites community members to share what production they want to see in the upcoming season.

Rebecca Worley, artistic director for the theater, says it’s a more inclusive way to plan their seasons rather than the decision falling to her to choose each production.

“Because we are a community, and we want other people’s stories to come in. Not just me picking things because I’m like–I know what I want to see and what I want to direct, but I don’t know what everyone else wants,” Worley said.

In order to put on a show, the theatre says they purchase the rights to the play from the publishers.

They said by their own estimate, the rights to a show have gone up around 40% since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. They say the cheapest price is $130 per play, and musicals are even more expensive.

“So they have really skyrocketed since COVID to put on a straight play,” Worley said.

Worley estimates that per season, the amount spent just on rights to shows is quite high.

“[Between] 25 to $30,000. We’re not talking sets, costumes, any of the props," said Worley. "Anything we need to do in addition [is extra].”

Worley says she’s grateful for the volunteers who help put on the shows, but costs add up.

“We are a nonprofit, so, unfortunately, it’s however much we make over the year that does our operating costs," Worley said. "Theaters are not cheap to run, unfortunately, so sometimes we are definitely on a shoestring budget.”

Although they say theater has changed since the pandemic, they have adapted to the times.

“We are the oldest continuously running nonprofit theater on the West Coast. This is our 96th year," Worley said. "Even during COVID we were open online. We are really proud of that status. We love our community, and we would love for people to come out and see some shows.”

If you have a show you would like to see at the community theatre, you have one more chance to make your pitch. The second "Pitch Day" will be next Saturday, Jan. 27. In order to participate, email Rebecca Worley at mizdub11@gmail.com to schedule a time to stop by and make your pitch. Full details and updates on the theatre are on their websiteor Facebook page.


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