GREAT transforms lives – and our community
The ongoing story of GREAT has been one of growth – and you are part of that story. Together, we are enriching lives and building a more vibrant community through the power of live theatre. We truly believe the best is yet to come for GREAT – both in what you see on stage and what we are able to offer in our community. But, in order to reach our full potential, we need you.
When you donate to GREAT, you are investing in our youth, our community, and our collective future.
The community at GREAT has truly changed my child. Everyone has been so encouraging to him. Last year he had a very difficult year and when he was bullied at school for basically being a theatre kid we decided to homeschool. He found this “family” at GREAT and he is a whole new person. He’s so happy and himself again!
Parent of Youth Volunteer Actor
GREAT brings important work to the community that challenges and engages us
This has been a great experience to help my kids open up and express themselves, connect to the community, grow as people, and find talents they didn’t know they had
Summer Camp Parent
Our only regret was having you teach in the afternoon because we were repeating ourselves the entire day, ‘No, i’ts not time for GREAT Theatre yet so you will have to be patient.”
Kidstop Site Manager
Wonderful shows! I come from Eagan and my mom comes from Brainerd and we meet to go to the shows and dinner all season. Always high quality!
I have never ended a show a) so emotional and b) feeling so secure in the work that was done and the relationships that were formed. This was truly a (and I’m not trying to be punny or anything) transformative experience. I am so grateful to have been part of it. And that seems to be the consensus… This one was really special.
A community worth living in is a community worth giving in.
Michael & Janet Reagan
YOU ARE HELPING BUILD A MORE VIBRANT COMMUNITY
Great River Educational Arts Theatre (GREAT) enriches lives and builds lasting connections by challenging, educating, entertaining, and inspiring through various high-quality theatrical experiences. Each year we provide opportunities that astound, inspire, and transform over 62,000 community members through a myriad of programming including:
GREAT’s education outreach programming includes:
- In-school & after-school musical-in-a-week residencies | 7 elementary schools, 400+ fifth graders, 1700+ classmates, friends and family in the audience
- Drama workshops with community partners | 975+ youth participated – all at NO COST to the partner organization OR the youth – thanks to support from donors like you!Community partners include: Boys and Girls Club of Central Minnesota, Too Much Talent, Promise Neighborhood, District 742, D. Blake Center, and YMCA
- Performance opportunities | 200+ cast and crew roles working with professional artists, building stage skills and life skills.
- Student matinees | 5000+ students attending each year, for many this is their first live theatre experience. The average ticket costs 70% less than the average public ticket, with many of them being free. This is made possible by donors.
- Youth Artist Project | 33 high school students (and counting!) have with work mentors to direct and design a show. GREAT received an innovation award for this project!
- Summer Theatre Camps | Nearly 1000 youth ages 3-18 throughout Central MN. We offer pick-your-price registration with nearly $40,000 awarded in scholarships annually.
It’s through these opportunities that so many people are introduced to theatre. These experiences build life skills and foster personal growth that are critical to shaping our community’s future.
Beyond specific education programming for youth, arts education is also integrated into our live performance programming for all ages. The act of creating theatre in and of itself is art that develops creativity and skills. From sewing costumes, to building sets, to assisting backstage, to character development, singing, dancing, and the teamwork that performing onstage fosters, the skills developed vary across each aspect of creating theatre.
GREAT’s productions & performance programming includes:
- Broadway Series – Five high-quality musicals and plays performed at the 800-seat historic Paramount Center for the Arts produced by our professional artistic staff featuring all local volunteer actors.
- Lab Series – Shows at our intimate and adaptable 150-seat Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre that bring audiences closer to the stories being told through a wide range of theatrical productions such as lesser known titles, collaborations, and work that challenges us to grow and learn.
We believe theatre has the power to elicit empathy, connect disparate communities, and create bonds that defy socio-economic class, race, gender, and age. Through our productions, volunteers build skills such as confidence, collaboration, and creativity as well as meaningful connections to others. Audiences have the opportunity to gather with friends, family and co-workers to be entertained as well be inspired, educated, and challenged through the stories being told. Our education and outreach programming pathways are created for youth to engage in arts, build confidence, strengthen leadership and teamwork skills, and deepen relationships. This is the foundation of pathways for the future and will have lasting impact for years to come. Collectively, this work transforms how our entire community works and grows together.
It’s the generosity of people like you that help us bring our community together through theatrical storytelling experiences that inspire, educate, challenge, and entertain. Donate today to help sustain and expand these theatre arts opportunities that transform individuals and our community. Every gift, of every size, contributes to endless opportunities.
OTHER WAYS TO DONATE
By Mail: 710 Sundial Drive, Waite Park, MN 56387
By Phone: 320-258-2787
GREAT is a 501c3 nonprofit organization.