Nonprofit asks Park City to give a bleep with parody musical
November 4, 2015
Missy Hilton and Mike Worel are asking local residents to give a bleep. They have been involved with Giving a Bleep, a nonprofit organization that raises money for other nonprofits through live performances, events and seminars, for the past four years.
Hilton, is the head writer, along with executive director Annette Velarde, of Giving a Bleep: The Show, an annual theatrical experience.
Worel is one of the actors in the group that pokes fun at Park City during the production that will take place this year on Nov. 6 and 7 and Nov. 13 and 14 at the Prospector Theater.
The two talked with The Park Record during separate interviews about the upcoming performances.
Hilton: Writing the absurd observations
The ideas for the script, which will include a dancing Jay Hamburglar and a red-light district at Kimball Junction are inspired by real-life events, Hilton said.
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"What we’re doing, as we do every year, we are taking a topic that is pressing on everyone’s minds and turning it into a performance," she explained. "This year, we’re using the fact that this community is exploding and bursting at the seams and we’re taking it to ridiculous ends by addressing overdevelopment. We thought what would happen if every inch of this area was developed and what the consequences would be."
Picking topics helps Hilton to keep on track and lessens the possibility of repeating herself.
"We go off on all the different tangents that the new theme offers," she said. "Last year our theme was school districts and entitlement and we mined everything we could in that. This year, we’re talking about overdevelopment and are looking in that direction. As long as we know which direction we are looking, we can steer clear of our past."
Ideas for the new production start after the cast and crew wrap the previous show.
"After the holidays, Annette and I will call each other and go over some of the stories we have read or heard," Hilton said. "It’s an ongoing process throughout the year, and then we start tightening things up by late spring and are ready to go in August."
Hilton has learned not to write a role with a certain actor in mind.
"We try to stay away from that because we end up being surprised by the outcome," she said. "There are times when we would write a character for someone and then find out they can’t be in the show or need a smaller role.
"What happens more often than not is that the right person will show up for a role that has already been written," Hilton said. "We know better than to try to control that. I mean, the leads we have this year are amazing. I laugh so hard every night and I can’t believe what they have brought to the table. So, if I had a preconceived notion about who would do what, I would have limited myself with the script."
This year, Hilton, Velarde and the rest of the Giving a Bleep volunteers feel they are all more focused in terms of their mission and goals.
The goals, according to Hilton, are as follows:
Everything Giving a Bleep does touches on those three things.
"We decided to have ticket buyers name their own price for tickets this year because we felt when people pay what they want to pay, they feel good about paying and participating," Hilton said. "As you know there are a lot of people who weren’t able to come to the show in the past because tickets were in a price range that they couldn’t afford.
"We opened up the price that way so more people come to the show," she said. "Even if they only pay $10 for their tickets, we say thank you."
That leads to more people getting involved with the community.
"The people who come to the show, build community because they recognize and support the people on stage," Hilton said. "In turn, they are enjoying the evening with other people in the community."
Of course, the big return is that Giving a Bleep gives back to the community.
"We don’t just do that with proceeds from the show but through the people who come and volunteer to be in the show," Hilton said. "This year, we have more than 30 people involved. They aren’t getting a dime, but they come back week after week for the production.
"We also have sponsors who give back, as well," she said. "The Prospector, who we so appreciate because they donate their space, is one of the major ones. And we have members from the Granger School of Music who do our music. So, as you can see, we’re not just putting on a show. It’s a little bigger than that."
Mike Worel: Shifting from one role to another
Worel said there are two sides of Giving a Bleep that not only fascinate him, but also makes him want to get involved.
"First, there’s the individual point of view," he said. "It’s fun to be a part of something like this, because we get out of our work environment and shift over and play with people who are energetic, bright and fun loving."
Worel looks forward to participating each year.
"I’m a trial lawyer and my kind of cases are significant and severe, so to step out of that role and spend time with Giving a Bleep cast members is fantastic," he said. "This is a group of people who may not get together other than this and the people we make fun of enjoy it and we feel like we’re in the community."
The other side is seeing the results of the hard work.
"It feels really good because we spend a lot of time working on the production," Worel said. "We have some big numbers and stuff and that takes time and effort. So, if we spend all this time on something, we want to make sure it counts."
Like Hilton, Worel likes that the production donates its proceeds to other local nonprofits.
"When you buy your ticket, you can select which nonprofit your money will go to," he said. "So, to raise $20,000 for the nonprofit you like is the cherry on top of our efforts."
Giving a Bleep, a nonprofit organization, will present Giving a Bleep: The Show at the Prospector Theater, 2175 Sidewinder Dr., on Fridays and Saturdays, Nov. 6 and 7 and Nov. 13 and 14, at 7:30 p.m. The show, which lampoons Park City, raises money for all local nonprofits. Tickets are on sale now by visiting http://www.givingableep.com . Ticket buyers can name their own price.
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