Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Lynne.
Rebecca, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I founded DPTC after working in New York for a time and realizing that I wanted my theatre work to have a larger impact on the next generation. After my older brother passed away from cancer when I was a kid, theatre gave me the opportunity to discover my own voice and gain confidence in myself. The story-telling aspect allowed me to find control and expression in my chaotic world. Knowing how vital theatre was in my own development, I wanted to start a theatre company dedicated to giving other children similar opportunities. DPTC was launched in July 2015. We’re starting our 5th season and have grown through the support of private donors, the City of Glendale, Walk With Sally, Spotlight on Hope, and many incredible theatre professionals and wonderful volunteers.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
The big issue is always donations. As a small nonprofit not founded by a large trust or foundation, we survive entirely on the generosity of individual donors. While we have received many generous gifts, our growth has been limited in relationship to the size of our goals and dreams. We hope to one day provide more quality shows for the general public each year, offer a summer camp for youth, launch additional educational programs to support youth without arts education, and fully pay all of our professional artists.
Please tell us about Dean Productions Theatre Company.
Dean Productions Theatre Company uses innovative theatre experiences to enrich the greater Los Angeles community and inspire underserved youth. Unlike other theatre companies that offer mainstage productions as well as separate youth programs, we strive to combine our work, resulting in powerful, quality theatre while offering youth opportunities beyond children’s theatre. Our most popular program partners children affected by cancer with one of our professional artists. They collaborate together to create an original short play that is then performed as a preshow in front of a live audience.
We believe that theatre has the power to change lives, encouraging growth and opening up possibilities far beyond any physical, mental, or social limitations.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
While mistakes are always made, I honestly don’t think I would have done anything differently. Each mistake and set back were essential opportunities for learning and growth that would not have occurred otherwise. We correctly founded the company and have done all we knew how to offer valuable programs and to build meaningful relationships with our community, donors, volunteers, and other organizations. Community and support have always been our focus, and while we are still trying to build a strong Board of Directors and build relationships with larger donors, there is not much we could have done different as each step has built an essential part of our foundation. It would be nice to say that we should have first sought out influential partners to launch the organization on a higher financial plane, but the reality is that then we probably would never has started. Influential people need to see a product that they can believe in, and so we moved forward, striving to build that product with whatever we could get. I am proud of the level of artistic talent we have been able to attract and the high-quality of our shows. We have built a great foundation and are more firmly prepared to make strong relationships with more influential people.
- Website: www.DeanProductionsTheatre.com
Photographer: Maggie Jorgenson