Dingbat Theatre Project is bringing accessible and inclusive storytelling to Sarasota County, Florida through high-quality, professional theatrical productions, community outreach programs, and arts education programs. Dingbat Theatre Project also has a commitment to uplifting its community and local artists through their programming. In order to keep producing programming for the community, Dingbat Theatre Project needs help. Ticket sales, ad revenue, and bar sales do not fully account for the rising expenses of producing professional theatre, while also making it economically-accessible for modern audiences. Dingbat's Annual Campaign goes directly to the operating budget for the organization, which includes exciting expenses like paying actors, directors, and designers and building sets and props, but also includes expenses that aren't as exciting (but are equally important) like toiletries, insurance, stocking the bar, printing, etc.
Dingbat Theatre Project was founded in 2020 as a collective of Suncoast-local theatre artists dedicated to the creation and development of dynamic and boldly imaginative theatrical productions. Their inaugural production, Brian & Luke's Live Holiday Jamboree, had its sold-out world-premiere at The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime in December 2020, which was followed up by their first full-scale musical, Shrek the Musical, which also played to sold-out crowds, in May 2021. In its three years, The organization has served thousands of patrons and employed over one hundred local artists.
Community Engagement Programs
Dingbat Theatre Project is dedicated to making theatre accessible to their community through affordable ticket prices, inclusive casting, The Loveland Center partnership, and other programs. There is always economically-accessible ticket pricing available to all productions and is offering free daytime performances for school groups and other community groups in their upcoming family-friendly productions.
Dingbat Theatre Project is known for avant-garde, imaginative, surprising, immersive, and high-energy interpretations of musical theatre.
Dingbat's production of Shrek the Musical re-imagined the story with eight performers playing over 100 roles. The show was presented with a junkyard-aesthetic and was reminiscent of Commedia Dell'Arte, Brechtain, and Godspell-style of theatrical storytelling. Dingbat's production of Shrek was a huge success playing to sold-out houses, and was positively reviewed in local publications. The production was nominated for local awards, and won the 2021 BroadwayWorld Awards for Best Direction of a Musical and Best Choreography.
Dingbat followed Shrek up with their productions of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which moved the company forward into immersive theatrical productions. The designs of these shows included the audience in the world of the show, whether it was the punk rock club of Hedwig or the underwater world of SpongeBob. Dingbat's production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch won the 2021 BroadwayWorld Awards for Best Musical and Best Costume Design. Dingbat's production of The SpongeBob Musical was the area-premiere and the first time the musical had been produced professionally at a regional theatre. Both played to sold-out crowds.
Their most recent production, Chicago, elevated the company the new heights, putting their own new spin on the Broadway classic. The audience was transported into a 1920s speakeasy/cabaret bar and marked the first production in Dingbat's partnership with The Loveland Center, an organization dedicated to serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The production completely sold out and was positively reviewed in local publications.
Dingbat's upcoming production of Peter Pan plans to continue this exploration of avant-garde presentations of musical theatre, with special performances offered during the daytime for local schools and some community groups to see the production for free.
Arts Education Programs
Dingbat Theatre Project has offered free theatre workshops and, through its partnership with The Loveland Center, offers the participants of Loveland Creates, an arts-focused adult day training program for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, educational opportunities through working on productions.
Luke Manual McFatrich - Founder/Producing Artistic Director
Brian F. Finnerty - Co-Artistic Director/Social Media Manager
Gretchen Beaumier - Co-Artistic-Director/Technical Director
Michelle Kasanofsky - Music Director
Elle-Marie McFatrich - Graphic Designer
Acting Company: Amanda Heisey, Austin Howeth, Cory Woomert, Noelia Altamirano, Debbi White