By Taryn Balchunas (Assistant Grant Writer/ Contributor)
“Who would have known that buying a Groupon would allow me to find this amazing place?” states Dorene Sikorski, a Playhouse on Park Main Stage Series subscriber since 2011 and loyal supporter of our local professional theater in West Hartford, CT. Dorene used to attend the Bushnell in Hartford, a different experience compared to our small, intimate three-quarter thrust theater. What makes Playhouse on Park unique, says Dorene, is that attendees are able to “see a spectacular performance only miles from home that I would need to take a train or drive to NYC to see. Many of the shows I have never heard of and are not duplicated at the Bushnell.”
As a Main Stage Series subscriber, Dorene has the ability to choose her desired seats for the season. She also is guaranteed tickets for each show on the same day for each run and has the option to exchange her tickets for another night within the run at no extra charge. She also has the opportunity to dine on a discounted rate at local restaurants before or after the performance at Playhouse on Park on a Friday or Saturday night. Dorene has savored many meals through our dining partners, even indulging in dessert at A.C. Petersen Farms next door. “I find the night out very reasonable. Where else can you enjoy the best ice cream sundae and a leisurely walk outside after seeing a breathtaking performance?” Additional Main Stage Series subscriber benefits include occasional treats from A Little Something Bakery and trial weeks at a local gym. Even with the perks, Dorene doesn’t feel like she’s receiving special treatment for being a subscriber. As with every attendee, the Playhouse staff acknowledges her when she arrives. “I am greeted with a hello and a smile every time I come…the people who work there are super friendly and helpful and I feel part of a community of artists that love what they do.”
What makes Dorene a devoted subscriber is her choice to attend shows numerous times throughout their run. For example, Dorene saw the production of Cabaret twice. Our choreographer, Darlene Zoller, was voted CT’s best choreographer in 2013 by broadwayworld.com for that production. In Dorene’s opinion, Cabaret was memorable because of the journey the audience experiences and how it evoked different reactions from the audience. “I giggled a bit when the actors were mingling with the audience only to be quiet and almost speechless at the end of the amazing performance.” Dorene has had numerous experiences at Playhouse on Park that she and her husband still discuss to this day. Notable performances include their close proximity to Art Garfunkel when he performed at our theater, as well as the production of An Enemy of the People, which left Dorene and her husband thinking for days. Dorene can’t choose a favorite production or specific season, although Around the World in 80 Days will always hold a special place in her heart, the performance that made her “fall in love with Playhouse on Park.” While she is already a subscriber, she donates when she can.
Pictured: Dorene and her husband, Paul
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