Cast Ensemble from Broadway Jr. "Annie Jr." - 2010
Cast Ensemble from Broadway Jr. "Annie Jr." - 2010

Our Credentials

Founders Dan and Anita Almich always appreciated the theatrical craft presented on the stage. The Almichs support The Arts in Bandon and enthusiastically involved their two sons while they were in school and learning to play jazz instruments. They so loved theater that the entire Almich family was involved in the building of the Sprague Community Theater, which has brought joy to the area for over 22 years.

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Community Theater - Volunteering is the Key

The Sprague Community Theater has provided a permanent venue for people to present The Arts to others,” said Anita. “It’s really opened the imaginations of the people who use the facility.

New Artists Productions took the stage in 2000 with a series of concerts that brought audiences and put student performers on the stage. Dan’s view was that many of Bandon’s youngsters live and breathe to perform. “You just never know what’s going to spark the kids,” said Anita. "Working with local students is like watching her own children grow up." The students accept the opportunity and take performance seriously.

The inspiration to perform and to provide community service arose when son Michael and classmate Julia Braun brought fellow students to the stage. It was a fundraiser that resulted in earning $1,500 to purchase a drum/trap set for the Bandon High School music program. The concert spurred greater interest in the Theater, and there were many youth acts and plays that followed.

Theater Arts Become Part of Activity Scheduling

The youth theater program really took off when local students and families began planning their schedules around the New Artists Productions calendar. The appetite grew and kids were always seeking new projects. After 23 years, New Artists Productions is still growing and changing alongside its student performers.

Reliance on Life Skills

What skills afford the Almichs to start such a program? Dan’s background was in Engineering Design and Marketing; Anita’s is in Mathematics and Finance. As a team, they produced the New Artists Productions shows and events, designed and built the sets, made the costumes, coordinated the music and sound effects, fundraised, and directed the rehearsals.

The joy of New Artists Productions allowed the Almichs to use their skills and develop their areas of interest - for Dan, it was drawing, designing sets, and set construction. For Anita, it is her home-economic skills and interest in creating costumes.

Have you ever asked?: "Why do I need to learn that - I'll never use it?" Well, Dan had an interest in drawing from an early age. Anita had an interest in sewing and crafts. Hobbies in The Arts became the 'tools' in producing youth theater projects. Dan – set design and construction computer software allowed him to refine his creative thoughts from sketches on a page to accurately dimensioned plans for sets and overall layouts on the stage. He had an innate ability to visualize and then put his ideas on paper for everyone to understand. This, in turn, helped generate added creativity and thoughts.

“Every New Artists Productions play or event that took the stage started as a scaled drawing and graphical art rendition of the sets in hand before the first board is cut.”

Community Makes Theater Successful

Anyone with a hobby, developed skill, or simple interest can contribute to the success of a theatrical production. Parents of young actors or volunteers in the community can help with costume design, sewing, dance, set and scenery design painting, stagecraft, and make-up. If one’s interest is peaked, there is a place for them in theater. In any community of any size, there are people who will volunteer their time to support the community. Community Theater is a great way to join in.

In our small community of Bandon, Oregon, a retirement community, there are many skilled and professional people - young and older - who are looking for things to do – to contribute and share – to give an additional layer of value/importance to their lives. Plus, when we cannot do something or believe we cannot achieve our goals due to our personal limitations and education, there is usually someone in the community who can help.

A wonderful example is! Know Your Limitations! Ask Someone Who Does Know!

Reaching Out to the Community

Invite neighbors and local citizens with vocal and musical training, professional and amateur make-up artists, artists, acting coaches, dance instructors, etc., to share their knowledge and skills with the younger generation. Whatever the shows might require.

Anyone interested in community theater can do the same. Explore the Chamber of Commerce with your neighbors, and run an advertisement in the local paper - looking for interested citizens with talents to share. You will be surprised at what you find.

Tevye's Cart - "Fiddler on the Roof - 2017"
Tevye's Cart - "Fiddler on the Roof - 2017"