Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’… Keep them Posters Rollin’!

December 17, 2010

By Jenn Peck, sick General Manager

There are several indicators around here that Arden Children’s Theatre has begun.  Staff members in brightly color t-shirts, bleary-eyed actors showing up before 10am with large cups of coffee or tea in their hands, the smell of popcorn waning through the lobby and Arden APAs happy to have their nights free – unless they’re scheduled past 6PM to help with a mailing, read a new play or  clean the lobby (or assist with A Moon for the Misbegotten rehearsals …which just started).  The main indicator that The Borrowers is running?  While you might think it’s the hundreds of school children in our lobby or the line of buses outside our door each morning, Arden staff members know that it’s poster rolling that means kids are in the audience!

See, it’s part of Arden Children’s Theatre that after every performance, there is a post show discussion where kids can ask the cast and crew questions and then, each child gets a free souvenir poster as they leave the show.  And while you might be most used to seeing The Borrowers Poster hung flat on the community board at your nearest Starbucks or in the window of your favorite independent bookstore*, when you and your child are at the theatre (or your child is there on a school trip**),  they will receive a rolled poster on their way out.  Who rolls these posters, you ask?  While we often joke about poster rolling elves, there (sadly) is no such thing.  (The elves already have jobs up at the North Pole around this time of year.)

Posters are rolled by the Arden Staff.  They’re rolled in the box office.  They’re rolled in the green room.  They’re rolled backstage.  They’re rolled at meetings.  They’re rolled during interviews.  They’re rolled during lunch.  At this time of year, we’re always rolling.  In fact, the Arden has coined the annual tradition called “Posterpalooza” where staff members get together one night before the show starts and eat pizza and candy and play games and … of course… roll posters.

Let’s do the math:

There are 79 performances of The Borrowers.  There are 369 seats in the Haas where the Borrowers is performed.  (And our shows do sell out quickly so if you haven’t bought your tickets yet, please do!  We wouldn’t want you to miss it!)  That’s potentially 29,151 people who come see the show during its run.  That’s a lot of poster rolling!

So, if you happen to be by the Arden through January 30th, the last day of The Borrowers, my guess is that you’ll see many a poster and many a staff member rolling said poster.  My guess is that you’ll even be coerced into rolling some yourself.  We’ll be rolling until the show is over.  And then, we’ll start rolling again because The Flea and the Professor, our first ever commissioned children theatre piece, starts up in May.

*  Not seeing The Borrowers poster in a place where you think it should be?  Coffee shops, schools, book stores, community centers and senior homes are all good places to get the word out.  You might even know of somewhere that we didn’t think of that would be great to hang a poster.  Let us know (in the comments here!) and we’ll either head out there ourselves or send some posters and tape your way and you can hang them up.  Don’t worry – we won’t make you roll it before you hang it!

**  Your child not seeing The Borrowers with his or her school group?  Do you think it would be a great field trip?  Let us know and we’ll be sure to get information out to teachers and schools we might have missed.

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