Board of Directors
J. Mike Burrows (Chair)
Craig Haycock (Secretary / General Manager)
Ken Coon (Treasurer)
Joey Calkins (Executive Producer)
Vanessa Nielsen (Founder)
Philip Shell (General Council)
Chareese Carter (Artistic Committee Chair)
Julie Ledesma(Box Office)
Nicole Anderson (Grants)
The Draper Historic Theatre (DHT) creates opportunities for community members to develop and share their theatrical talents with friends and family. Participants of all ages have the opportunity to act, sing, dance or learn the technical aspects of theatre including lighting, sound design, costuming, and set construction. Four of the six shows are musicals, which allow whole families to participate in the performance. Each year, a special DHT Kidz performance is slated creating the opportunity for as many as 120 children under the age of 18 to perform on stage.
The value of DHT comes in its affordability and accessibility. With DHT being strictly not for profit, none of the actors are paid, nor are they charged to perform. This creates the opportunity for aspiring actors or even local housewives to perform and gain experience on a smaller stage. It also allows for cost effective ticket prices. Adult admissions at the Hale Center Theatre range from $22-30 a show, whereas DHT maintains a flat rate of $9 a show per adult. This creates the opportunity for persons of all income ranges to enjoy theatrical performances.
The Draper Historic Theatre has strong cultural and historical significances to the community. In 1938, Annie Pearl and John A. Howell family built a movie house named “The Pearl.” Vaudeville performances would start off the evening followed by a movie or two. Many locals felt fortunate to have a first run theatre right in their small town. For many generations this building, now on the Draper Historic Register, served as a gathering place for the south end of the valley. In 1988, the theater was purchased by Charles and Vanessa Nelson, who added theatrical lighting, sound and expanded the stage, enabling the presentation of live shows. With humble beginnings, DHT grew into what could be called “the best kept secret in the valley.” Ten years later, DHT became a non-profit organization and in 2004 the Board of Directors purchased the building from the Nelsons through a major fund raising effort. Having the organization purchase the building allows for the theater to truly belong to the Draper community.
Draper Historic Theatre envisions itself as the premiere arts and cultural center of the south valley. It would be a place where artisans of all disciplines would perform, community members gather for social events, and youth would learn the tools of the theatre trade. Draper has experienced such rapid and continual growth in the recent years that there is a need for the community to have their own cultural events and not rely on other townships. DHT not only wants to provide cultural entertainment for the community but also be the physical location of numerous cultural events.
Short Term Goals
DHT short-term goals involve the expansion of the educations programs offered at the theater and increasing the multi-purpose use of the building.
1. Currently, DHT offers a youth technical program Youth ages 12-18 will have the opportunity to learn the behind the scenes technology and management for theatrical production. This includes lighting set-up and design, sound mixing, special effects directing, stage management and so forth. This program gives youth a head start with hands-on experience to their professional careers in theater, broadcasting, animation or even computer science.
2. DHT is offering a youth summer camp program called Young Actors' School It gives the opportunity for youth to discover and develop their performing talents. This program will teach students stage presence, improve, dramatic acting, singing and auditioning techniques. A scholarship program will be available for select under privileged youth who want to attend, but can’t afford it.
3. DHT is actively seeking opportunities for other performing artists to use their stage. This includes youth dance companies, bluegrass bands, vocal or piano recitals, and so forth. DHT actively uses the stage six months out of the year for performances. By allowing other performing artists to use the stage during the off months, DHT positions itself to be the physical location for cultural events.
Long Term Goals
The Draper Historic Theatre is an actual historic building in strong need of renovations and capital improvements. In order to be the premiere physical location of many cultural events for the south valley, improvements must be made. The building itself is limited in its capacities to meet the current theatrical needs for each production. As DHT expands and repairs the building, it will be able to better serve the growing cultural needs of the community. Currently, there is no sufficient off-stage area for performers. Actors find themselves waiting off-stage outside in make shift wings built out of tarps and PVC piping. The same goes for dressing areas. DHT would like to add to the building and create a sufficient off-stage waiting area that includes climate control. Other capital improvements include creating adequate off-stage rehearsal space, male and female dressing rooms, replacing the worn out and warped stage, and replacing auditorium seats. The building is also in need of some major repairs, which include updating the electrical system, kitchen/concession area and expansion of bathroom facilities.
We currently are seeking financial grants from various companies to enable us to make these repairs. Donors will receive recognition and complimentary advertising for their support in our programs as well as free tickets to the performances. We are also in need of individual donations of both time and money.