Mudlark Theater kicked off the 2016-2017 season by raising nearly $90,000 from supporters at its second annual benefit, Larkabout 2016, held on September 17th at The Crystal Ballroom & Lounge.
Proceeds from the event go directly to Mudlark’s Milk Jug Fund, which supports a season of ten theatrical productions starring young performers and provides over $13,000 in unconditional scholarships for young people to receive high quality arts education in the form of camps, classes and productions at Mudlark.
Community leaders Kendra Morrill and Lisa Weatherhead chaired the event in coordination with Mudlark’s Development Director, Elizabeth Feiertag. Larkabout 2016 was attended by 215 Mudlark supporters who enjoyed a rousing evening of events featuring dinner, dancing, a raffle drawing, and auctions items donated from over 88 individuals, business and organizations. “I think it was an unequivocal success,” says co-chair Kendra Morrill. “First, we significantly exceeded our fundraising goal, and the money we raised will help our programs grow and support our scholarship fund, which will allow even more kids to experience Mudlark.”
The organization honored Laura Eilts, former board president, with the 2016 Mudlarkian of the Year Award. The Mudlarkian of the Year is awarded to an individual who makes extraordinary contributions to the Mudlark community through acts of service, creativity, kindness, and stewardship. Laura currently leads Corporate Social Responsibility at Grant Thornton LLP with a focus on leveraging firm resources, capabilities, and employees to address the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. Laura served on the board from 2012-2016 and her sons, Jack and Nick, have participated in eight productions with Mudlark.
The evening concluded with a moving program featuring remarks by Artistic Director Andrew Biliter, Executive Director Michael Miro, and Board President Hans Hansen. The highlight of the program though was a moving performance by Mudlark’s Youth Board entitled “The Mudlark Difference,” a selection of stories and testimonials from Mudlark constituents about the organization’s impact.
“I think it was really cool how much we were able to do for the event,” says Youth Board member Sebastian Locke. “Mudlark is something that I love to do and it’s been a part of my life for so many years. It was all for a really good cause that we care about.”
“When Michael asked me to chair this event, I said yes for one reason. I feel so incredibly lucky and grateful that my two boys have been able to participate in Mudlark productions, summer camps, and after-school programs, and I would do anything to help every child in our community have the same amazing experience they have had.” says Morrill “The success of Larkabout 2016 will allow Mudlark to continue to be need-blind in their casting and program admission and never turn a child away for financial reasons. I am proud that I was able to be a part of that.”
Coming Up Next At Mudlark
On October 13th, the Main-Dempster Mile Association will host it’s 3rd Annual Evanston Charity Wine Walk benefiting Mudlark’s annual production of Mudpie. It will be an evening of Mediterranean wine tastings, after-hours shopping at 65 local businesses and the chance to win one of 12 amazing raffle packages. Presale tickets are just $30, for more on the Wine Walk and how to get tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-evanston-charity-wine-walk-tickets-27051761547.
Join Temperance Brewery, yoga instructor Jenny Breen, and Mudlark staff and artists on Saturday, October 15th for "Temperance Trikonasana" a yoga class and beer tasting at Temperance Brewery that benefits Mudlark Theater. Once bodies and minds are opened, have a beer and learn about Mudlark’s work in the community. For more information, visit http://temperancebeer.com/yoga/.
Mudlark begins its 2016-2017 season with a production of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, directed by Michael Miro and Andrew Biliter and adapted by Biliter from the short story by Washington Irving. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow opens on October 21st and runs until October 30th. For a full list of performance dates and other upcoming productions, visit www.mudlarktheater.org/shows.