All the World's a Stage is the Hamilton Players' 2017 fundraising gala set for Sept. 16. Tickets are available through Friday, Sept. 15. 

The evening includes dinner, entertainment, silent and live auctions and surprises.

“Trying to keep the arts going in the community is a huge mission,” said Carrie Storrow, an actor. “It includes getting more people involved and showing them how much fun it can be. I have such a passion for the theater and enjoy bringing new people in.”

The gala includes a reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. for all the table sponsors.

The main event starts at 6:30 with a silent auction and dinner. There is a no host wine and beer bar for the evening.

Silent auctions baskets are a collection of themed items: pamper yourself spa, everything yellow, a sci-fi kit, book lovers, a Shakespeare kit, a mad scientist kit, holidays, a fairy garden, and more. There is also a “Montana Theatre Experience” basket with tickets from theaters throughout Montana, “A Taste of the Bitterroot” basket with food gift certificates from Darby, Hamilton and Corvallis, and an “Arts” basket with season tickets to the Performing Arts Series and the Hamilton Players.

For entertainment, Sasha Brooks and Eric Monson will depict a scene from Noel Coward’s “Cavalcade,” Jenica Burrows will sing, Max Nadal will execute a tap dance, and Tasha Fain will perform.

Tickets are $50 individually, a reserved table of eight for is $450, and a sponsor table for eight is $500. Sponsors receive an ad in the program, are invited to the pre-event reception, and get thanked on signage at the event. The sponsored tables will be decorated in a show theme and the group can dress to match

Table show themes already selected are “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Chicago,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Grease,” “Mamma Mia!” and “The Great Gatsby.”

Storrow said show themes gets people invested in the evening and having fun.

The live auction begins with a dessert dash – a live auction with bidding on being first to select from the homemade desserts including pies, cakes or trifles.

The big item at the live auction is a consignment package for two for an “Astronaut Experience” at the Kennedy Space Center including a space shuttle launch simulation, which has a moment of weightlessness, lunch with an astronaut, all travel details and air fare.

Live auction items include: a “VIP Experience” for the 2018 season, which is front row tickets to all four shows with two courses of dessert (act one and act two) and champagne.

The Hamilton Players Gala fundraiser is held every other year and patrons to this year’s gala can bid on the “VIP Center Stage Opportunity for 2019.” The highest bidder receives the center stage table with private service, drink service, gift bags and royal treatment.

The live bidding includes a children’s party for 12 with a theme of pirates, fairies, princess or any combination.

Table reservations need to be made by Monday, Sept. 11.

Storrow said the gala is an opportunity to “bring more information to the community about what we do, what the possibilities are and how beneficial having a community theater is.”

Volunteer Jeannine Rose said the theater adds to the community.

“People involved in theater have better problem solving skills, kids have better test scores, it helps develop self-esteem, self-confidence and social skills,” she said. “Theater also gives kids an appreciation of synergy and something greater than themselves.”

Executive director Denise Rose said the goal of the gala is to keep the playhouse open.

“We had a difficult financial year last year,” Rose said. “This year it is much better. The community saved us – they kept us open. We were going to close.”

She said only 50 percent of the playhouse income comes from ticket sales and the rest of the funding comes from donations and grants.

Sponsors of the gala are Mainstreet Toys, Massa Home Center, Deb & Doug Symmons, Bitterroot Brewing Co., Valley View Estates, Troy Collins Fine Art, Valley View Estates, Ravalli Family Medicine, Tammy Bedey, the Rapp Family Foundation, and The Wine Cave. Community members have donated items for the auctions.

“Theater inspires people, entertains them, makes people love it, and it educates them,” Denise Rose said. “The evening will also have a ‘Fund-A-Dream’ auction and many other great surprises.”

The fundraising gala takes place at the Bitterroot River Inn in Hamilton. For reservations, contact the Hamilton Players at 406-375-9050, their website - hamiltonplayers.com, or in person 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday at 100 Ricketts Road in Hamilton.

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