Boosters form to support Quaker Valley musicals

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 6:00 AM

Lisa Sevcik sees a lot of similarities between performing in a musical and playing a sport.

In sports, you have to know your plays before the big game. In theater, you have to know your choreography and lines before the show.

Of course, musical theater is a team. You don’t want to let your teammates, or castmates, down.

So you do your best.

There’s even a physical aspect to musical theater when you dance on stage, she says.

With that in mind, Sevcik wondered why musicals at Quaker Valley didn’t have a parent booster group, just like many sports.

Now, they do.

The Quaker Valley Musical Booster Association was formed this school year with the goal of increasing student support by bolstering parent involvement, fundraising and community backing for the shows.

“We would like to be able to have the kids have the best experience possible,” said Sevcik, the group’s president. “The kids, they give three or four months (of) dedication to doing a musical. It’s a huge time requirement. I just wanted to give them the support they needed.”

This year, the musical featured almost 50 cast members and at least 10 students backstage on crew, she said.

Sevcik, of Sewickley, who has volunteered for nearly 10 years helping with middle school and high school shows at Quaker Valley, said it’s always the same small group of parents who help. The parents who didn’t weren’t sure how to get involved, she said.

As her youngest child in the district is about to graduate, Sevcik said she wanted to make sure parents continue on the legacy of helping after she leaves.

Forming a booster group got them organized.

They used the school district’s template for setting up such an organization, Sevcik said.

“We are very grateful to all of our booster organizations which support activities and athletics at Quaker Valley,” Mike Mastroianni, director of activities and athletics, said in an email. “The support they provide is an essential part of all programs and helps us meet the needs of our student participants.”

One impetus for the formation of the group was a call from a parent to Sevcik asking why the school was not competing in the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in High School Musical Theater this year. The district has competed for a majority of the last 27 years, taking intermittent breaks. However, in 2017-18, the show’s longtime director opted not to enter, Sevcik said.

This year, with new director Austin Wolford, the district initially did not enter, until students expressed an interest.

Showing support for the students is important, Sevcik said, and that’s the basis for the boosters group.

There are many aspects that having a boosters group can be beneficial, she said.

Parents of all children involved in the shows were a part of the group. There’s no buy-in fee.

Committees formed for concessions, flower sales and ticket sales.

Often, it’s a scramble before the show to determine who is buying the flowers and who is paying for them upfront. With an organized group, these things can be planned out in advance, Sevcik said.

The group plans to do more fundraising. Attending musicals at other schools, they’ve seen just how many people buy ads in the programs in some districts.

They want that to happen in Quaker Valley.

“It takes a village to get a show off the ground. It’s more than just the director and producer,” Sevcik said. “That was inspirational to us, as far as, this is a goal that we can have in promoting the musical.”

Money they raise will help support the show, once the director has spent the entire budget and money held over from the previous year.

As booster president, Sevcik also served as a liaison between parents of musical students and the director, so he could focus on the show.

Sevcik says there are a lot of talented students that come from Quaker Valley’s musical program, and she wants them to be supported.

“We’re supposed to be here to work in conjunction with the Q.V. School District,” she said. “We’re there to take some of the workload off of the director and producers so that they can focus more on their responsibilities and more fundraising means more opportunities for putting on a show.”