The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

26 Aug

The holiday season is a time of stress and joy. People attend a different party every night, while frantically scurrying around trying to find that perfect something. ABT’s Met season could be seen in a similar light. The company has a different performance each week, and people are constantly trying to figure out which show they want to see. It is a busy time, but there is always something new to do.

The Development office ensures that members have great benefits and feel as if they are a part of the company. Throughout the Met season (or any season, for that matter), the development office works around the clock. Seeing how ABT functions throughout one of its busiest seasons is like watching a well-oiled machine run. Everyone has their part-–ticketing processing, member events, database upkeep, and member acknowledgements. As an intern, I have been able to assist with every aspect of the department, including member events.

I enjoy learning about the company and how the development office functions, but I truly love assisting with the events themselves. ABT membership comes with different benefits at each level. At one level, a member can receive two passes to a dress rehearsal and the bi-annual company magazine On Point. When on a higher ring of membership, a person can attend multiple dress rehearsals, go on backstage tours, and watch a dancer interview, plus many other amazing opportunities.

The development office plans all the membership events throughout the seasons. They coordinate each event with the Met, other venues, and company managers to achieve a spectacular evening that may only last 50 minutes. Like the holidays, the planning takes place months in advance, but work continues up until the party starts.

Let’s take for example, a dress rehearsal. Company managers and the development office discuss dress rehearsal dates long before the Met season begins. Members receive invitations to dress rehearsals and decide which ones they wish to attend. A few weeks before the rehearsal, the box office sends the development staff tickets, and the staff sends them to members attending the rehearsal.

Work starts early in the morning for each event. Each dress rehearsal has its own individual program, but cannot be finished until the day of, which is when the department receives the dress rehearsal cast. Multiple departments must then review the program for information accuracy and conformity to ABT’s style guide. Our staff prints and folds anywhere from 500 to over 1,500 programs that morning, and then delivers them to the ushers when they arrive at the Met. While at the Met, the staff works to ensure that donors have tickets and that no question goes unanswered.

Needless to say, each event takes a lot of time, double checking, and manpower. The entire department must communicate and work together to execute each event. The Met season takes a lot of hard work from everyone involved, but it is a truly spectacular time of the year. Each performance is unique and exciting, and the entire season is a joy to be a part of.

Taylor Logan

Membership Intern

Summer 2014

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