Backstage Pass Newsletter | June 2018

Bay Area Children's Theatre Behind the Scenes News & Information

Actor Spotlight: Rock out with Pete the Cat

After traveling the country as Crane Truck in our national tour of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, actor Zachary Hasbany is now rehearsing for the title role in Pete the Cat, which opens in Berkeley on June 16. We recently interviewed him about what it’s like to play a rock and roll cat, and what makes Bay Area Children’s Theatre shows and audiences special.

What lessons do you hope kids will take away from Pete the Cat?

Getting to play Pete is such a delightful experience, because we can all learn from his perspective. As a musician cat in the 1960s, Pete has many philosophies, especially that “life is a really really really big adventure.” Even when he gets caught by the cat-catcher, and blunders his way into a chaotic family environment, Pete keeps a positive attitude and adventures on. Another Pete Philosophy is: “Life takes courage; be brave.” On the roads that we take in life, it’s important to try hard with 100 percent effort, but when we get derailed, we can learn, adapt, and enjoy our new path.

You're one tall cat! How has your height (6'7") been an advantage and a challenge as an actor?

The best and worst thing about my height in the world of theatre is that a company will either love it or hate it – there is rarely anything in between. The companies that do not like my height usually want a cast that has one certain "look" to it. I’ll never blend into a crowd, and I can’t fit generic looks, so I don’t work for those companies. BACT has been wonderful about accommodating my height. The character of Crane Truck in Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site was tailored for a tall person, and I was happy to fulfill that need. In Pete the Cat, the fantastic design team decided to embrace the idea of a giant cat, so all the set pieces and props have been resized and warped. My personal favorite is a gigantic couch that makes me feel like I’m in the Big Comfy Couch TV show. It all adds to the delightful and peculiar feel of our story.  Read more »


Did You Know? How BACT Season Flex Passes Work

At Bay Area Children's Theatre, we believe passionately that regular engagement with the arts improves literacy, inspires creativity, and teaches empathy. Which is why we work hard to make it as easy and affordable as possible for your family to attend the theatre as often as you can.

We know how busy—and unpredictable—life can be. Plans change at the last minute. Coughs and colds happen. Parents and grandparents have busy schedules. And while we’re crazy about every show we do, we also recognize that not every show is right for every child.

So from the get-go we decided that a traditional season subscription series was not right for our patrons. (You know, the kind of plan where you have to sign up for the entire series of shows, commit to specific days and times—even pick the same seats for every performance.)

Instead, we set up our Season Flex Pass program to give you as much flexibility as possible, and save you money along the way too.  Read more »


Behind the Scenes: Creating Theatre for Children with Special Needs

Award-winning Bay Area playwright and composer Min Kahng recently celebrated his birthday by creating a Facebook fundraiser to help bring his original musical production Story Explorers into Bay Area schools.

“Thanks to the generosity of individual donors, we were able to visit a few special needs classes this year and present our sensory-friendly and interactive shows designed specifically for them!” said Min. “Words don’t do the experience justice, but I think this photo by Melissa Nigro captures beautifully the wonder and meaning that performing these shows brings to me.”

Inspired by stories created by children living with special needs, Story Explorers premiered at Bay Area Children’s Theatre in 2017 with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and other generous donors. Our goal now is to make Story Explorers accessible to more children with special needs through more free performances in schools.  Read more »



It’s Not Too Late to Make a Difference!

If Bay Area Children’s Theatre has changed your family’s life, please consider making a donation to ensure ALL children have access to the life-changing experience of theatre. We must raise $50,000 by June 30, and we have $10,000 to go!

Your gift today will not only delight and inspire theatre lovers of all ages and backgrounds by making great theatre possible in the year ahead, but will also expand arts access by reaching larger and more diverse audiences.

Your gift will directly support:

  • free tickets for thousands of students to attend weekday performances
  • after-school musical theatre programs in underserved schools
  • scholarships for talented students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to participate in theatre classes and camps
  • and more...

Learn more and donate today »

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