Organizers encourage Park City to ‘Give a Bleep’
Three times feels like a charm for Giving a Bleep, a nonprofit organization that raises money for other nonprofits through live performances, events and seminars.
Its third annual comedy, "Giving a Bleep: the Show," will open Thursday, Nov. 6, at the Prospector Theater and run this weekend through Sunday, Nov. 9. The show will also run next weekend from Friday, Nov. 14, through Saturday, Nov. 15.
Executive Director Annette Velarde and head writer Missy Hilton told The Park Record that things have moved more smoothly this time around.
"We knew we would have to take the first two years to establish our name," Velarde said. "So this year, we’re not nervous about the audience and the actors that are performing with us came about quite easily because of their involvement before."
The topics that the show satirizes emerged naturally.
"There was so much to choose from," Velarde said smiling. "We have to thank Park City for that"
The show’s overall theme this year is about entitled kids and entitlement in general.
"It was so difficult for us to think of stuff, because we had to look outside the community to find this," Hilton joked and said sarcastically. "I had to go to friends I had in other towns and stuff to get my ideas."
One of the issues that fueled the writing was about the different programs the local school districts keep developing.
"Every kid in Park City is gifted and talented in something, so the district is adding programs until they find something that will match those gifts and talents in every student," Velarde said.
Another issue is the feeling that Parkites have to be No. 1.
"This includes crossfit," Velarde said. "Why would you join a crossfit gym if all you want to do is be in shape? Do you really want to be that beast in the street?"
Then there’s the abundance of the fundraisers that have become too expensive for the average Parkite to attend.
"When it comes to these fundraisers how many more $250-plate dinners do we have to have before someone asks why these fundraisers have to be at the Montage or Stein Eriksen Lodge or St. Regis," Velarde said. "It seems everything in this town has a taste for luxury and as Vail moves in, those of us who used to sit around in City Park and drink beer together are getting harder to find."
Even the idea of getting a group together for a beer may become expensive, she said.
"It’s only a matter of time when someone wants to move that group up to Deer Valley and charge $100 a head just to sit back and drink beer," Velarde said.
Hilton’s script addresses these issues, which came to her after she hosted a trivia-night fundraiser at Molly Blooms earlier this year.
"I paired it with a friend of mine who was raising money for Africa and it was so down home," Hilton said. "There was no pretense and we didn’t have to wear evening gowns or show how big our pocketbooks were by bidding on $30,000 worth of hotel stays. It was like just going out for a drink. We actually had a couple attend who had just gotten married in Herriman and they read about the fundraiser online and joined us because they could afford it and be a part of it."
That core idea is what Giving a Bleep, the nonprofit, is about as well, Velarde said.
"When you look at Park City as a town, and not a resort, we have grocery-store clerks who live here," she said. "We have people who work at gas stations who live here. We have guys who work at Diamond Rental who live here. We have the firemen and teachers who live here, too.
"My focus the first year was to raise money for all the nonprofits in the area, and that’s still a huge purpose for me, but what Giving a Bleep is growing into is to keep some tightness in the community nucleus," Velarde said. "We don’t want to end up where the people who work at the fire station or the grocery stores and gas stations live 30 miles away."
The mission is two sided, Hilton said.
"Side A is giving back to the community," she explained. "It’s that nice cycle of give and receive and people can have the opportunity to give something back to the community without having to spend thousands of dollars to do so."
When people buy a ticket by visiting http://www.givingableep.com , they can designate which nonprofit organization they would like to benefit.
"It’s a simple process and once we have tallied up the money, we will write checks to these nonprofits," Velarde said.
Side B is about the volunteers, Hilton said.
"We have an eclectic and random group of people who have this opportunity of creative expression," she said. "We provide a place for adults to get involved in performing and to get goofy."
That doesn’t mean the performance is unprofessional, Hilton said.
"We aspire to do the best job we can, but we’re not the Hale Center Theatre in Salt Lake and we don’t want to be," she said.
"The thing that I see every year is that Giving a Bleep isn’t about a click, but there is a tribe of people who are willing to give an enormous amount of time to put this show together," she said. "They come together in order to be together and anyone who wants to join us can. We have room for everyone."
As if to illustrate that, many of the volunteers have taken certain duties upon themselves, Velarde said.
"Tanya Taylor is doing our choreography and having her in a bigger role has helped Missy and I focus on the show," Velarde explained. "We also have Sharon Mardula and Ani Robertson taking on the costumes and what they are bringing to the table is gigantic. And lastly, our tech crew is a group of high school students."
Although the ideas for the script came easy this year, the getting the flow of the script was challenging, Hilton said.
"I did struggle a bit and then broke free a month and a half before rehearsals," she said. "All the songs came in a big free flow, and right now I feel open and I can feel the universe swirling around it."
One of the most important elements of the show is the venue and Velarde is so happy Giving a Bleep has partnered with the Prospector.
"It has been a golden relationship, and their board and staff has been so generous to us," she said. "As they have been growing and developing an identity in the community, they have allowed us to be there right beside them. All of our rehearsals have been held at the Prospector and they have donated the space to us."
Giving a Bleep will present "Giving a Bleep: the Show" at the Prospector Theater, 2175 Sidewinder Dr., on Thursday, Nov. 6, through Saturday, Nov. 8, and Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15, at 8 p.m. The performance pokes fun at the quirkiness of Park City and its residents. Tickets are $25 and available by visiting http://www.givingableep.com . Proceeds will benefit all Park City-area nonprofit organizations.
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Sundance Institute announced it will instead send reporters a press kit with video remarks from executive leadership.