The holiday season is upon us and it’s around the time those around us may starting asking for a list. Some people may know just exactly what to get you, but for those who need a little more guidance I have made a list that will leave your theatre lover feeling #blessed regardless of whether or not they are #blessedandbooked this holiday season.
So here it is. A list of 10 Perfect Gifts for your theatre lover:
1. Fences on BluRay /DVD
Fences staring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington is the 2016 movie based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning play. While it’s extremely dialogue heavy (it is based on a play after all) and a little slow moving, the performances are jaw-dropping. Cue Viola Davis doing an entire scene with snot all over her face. This film is sure to inspire any actor and will have you asking to pass the tissues.
2. Show Tickets
While this can be on the pricier side, show tickets do not have to cost an arm and a leg (cough, cough Hamilton). If you are like most people and can’t afford Broadway tickets, there are some awesome resources out there such as TKTS or rushing tickets. Another great idea is getting them a telecharge gift card, which can help decrease the price of their next ticket purchase. Also, theatre isn't only Broadway. Getting them tickets to any tour or regional theatre production will have your theatre lover over the moon and re-inspired if they are feeling burnt out from being overworked.
Reading plays is a great way to keep learning post-graduation. Actors should be reading plays to find monologues, etc. for auditions. Everyone else should be reading them to stay inspired and be knowledgable in their craft. I once had an actor ask me if I was also a performer because I seemed to know /have read a lot of theatre. (Shoutout to Meredith for having us read plays all the time at JMU). I know some people hate reading plays because they are meant to be seen, but it is important to read them to 1. keep your brain thinking and 2. so you aren’t trying to BS your way through a conversation about a classic because you are to embarrassed to admit you haven’t read it/don’t know it.
4. Coffee gift cards
Theatre people are constantly going. And most of them can’t go without coffee in a 24 hour period. Some may say we are addicts, but hey it's better coffee than meth. They will always be overjoyed to receive a gift card for a coffee, no matter if it’s $5.00 or 25 cents. If they don’t like coffee, they might be in the wrong industry.
Jk -well maybe. They can still use it for tea or a muffin or something I suppose.
5. Playbill binder
I got one of these a few years ago and absolutely love it. It’s perfect for the nostalgic theatre goer who saves every single playbill ever (i.e. me) . They are for the standard Broadway playbill but will work with others as well. You can purchase more sleeves as well and depending on thickness of playbill/number of shows seen, an older theatre goer may want more than one. I have also heard ones exist that have sleeves for tickets as well. Here is a link to the one I have:
6. A Donation to BCFEA
Broadway Cares Fights Equity Aids is an organization is one of the nation's leading industry-based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. According to their website they, "fund the social service work of The Actors Fund and award grants to AIDS service organizations nationwide". Every year they make an announcement following Broadway Curtain Calls and have members of the cast stand by the doors to collect money following each show. Instead of donating to the Salvation Army this season, consider making a donation to BCFEA instead as the alternate way to give back.
Make a donation here: https://secure2.convio.net/bwc/site/Donation2?df_id=3701&3701.donation=form1
7. Office supplies
Now I can picture you reading this, thinking well Chelsea not all theatre people are stage managers and find Staples to be heaven on earth. But here is the thing, I really haven’t met anyone who works in theatre who doesn’t appreciate some good office supplies. Actors live for a good pack of pencils (and stage managers appreciate when they bring their own and don’t steal ours) and a highlighter to highlight their lines. Directors/designers/ frankly anyone in theatre can always use some post it flags to easily flip to and from different scenes efficiently in their script. And who doesn’t love some fun brightly colored post its for note taking?
8. A reusable water bottle/ travel coffee mug
As I have said before, theatre people are constantly on the go. A good sturdy reusable water bottle or coffee mug can go a long way and is good for the environment as well. Here is an example of one
they might like:
9. Printing business cards or headshots/resumes
Theatre is an expensive industry in which we don’t make a lot of money. Just to get jobs we are encouraged to print business cards or have to print headshots or resumes for auditions and interviews. And this stuff is not cheap, especially if we want quality products. So consider helping your actor pay to print headshots/resumes or your technician print business cards. This is something that they will appreciate tremendously and will help their career.
10. Help them purchase their domain
As I just mentioned, theatre is super expensive and has a lot of cost up front. Another way to help with their career, is to help them purchase their domain. Websites are so much money just to have your name as the domain. So help them out with offering to chip in.
Well I hope you found this helpful when it comes to gift ideas for your theatre maker/creator/lover. I promise these things will not disappoint and help fill the void because even Santa can't get Hamilton tickets.
Much love and happy holidays,