Date:   8/15/2003

Vicki's Views on Thrasher Volunteers

Views on Thrasher Volunteers
by Vicki Duhr, TOH volunteer coordinator

Did you leave the Thrasher with a smile on your face and a melody on your lips after Switchback’s performance earlier this summer?  Or did you tap your toes through the tunes by KG & the Rangers last Friday at the Thrasher?  Enjoy a lecture sponsored by the Green Lake Association or a concert sponsored by the Green Lake Festival of Music?  Or perhaps, you have tickets for the Thrasher Opera House’s Fall Concert Series which includes a return performance by George Winston, or you have treasured memories of a play by the Green Lake Community Players or the Four Bitchin’ Babes in concert.  If so, you either know or are about to learn what a wonderful performance area the Thrasher Opera House is. 

Without a dedicated staff and an active corps of volunteers, the opera house would be little more than an historic landmark—beautiful to look at as one drives or walks along Mill Street in downtown Green Lake.  The Thrasher’s mission statement guides it toward a much larger role in the community:  to promote the arts, to provide a community gathering place in partnership with educational, artistic, and civic organizations. It is the Thrasher Opera House volunteers who help make it possible for the opera house to reach these goals.  As volunteer coordinator for the Thrasher Opera House, I have the enormous good fortune of working with these dedicated and generous people.

Volunteers are very visible at events—selling tickets, concessions, and performer’s products; acting as ushers; making sure sound and lights are working for your optimal concert experience.  Volunteers also fill many behind the scene roles, as well.  Archival and maintenance chores; providing hospitality for guest artists; assisting with bulk mailings, public relations, poster design and distribution are just a few.  There are also a great number of people working on committees—among them:  program, advisory, marketing, membership, and fundraising—who meet regularly and work hard, along with the 20 member Thrasher Opera House Board of Directors.

According to Roby Irvin, executive director of the Thrasher, a large and active group of volunteers is essential to keeping the opera house vital and to maintaining affordable ticket prices.  “The Thrasher Opera House board recognizes the tremendous value of volunteers and their support,” Irvin said.  That is one of the reasons the Volunteer/Membership Committee has recently reviewed the opera house’s volunteer policy in an effort to recruit and retain volunteers and to identify new volunteer duties. 

One change is that non-event volunteers will be able to earn credits toward free or reduced admission to Thrasher Opera House events.    These behind the scene volunteers are of great value to the organization and now there will be a system in place to reward them.  Another exciting change is a handbook that will help both new and veteran volunteers feel more comfortable “on the job.” This manual will be coupled with regularly scheduled orienting sessions.   Finally, a system is being designed that will make it possible for trained volunteers to sign up to help at a performance weeks, even months in advance. 

Volunteering for the Thrasher is one of the great ways to support the performing arts and to connect with your community.  Everyone has something to offer the Thrasher.  Let us know what your talent or background is, and we will find a place for you.  I look forward to meeting and working with you.  For more information about volunteer opportunities at Thrasher Opera House, please contact, or call us at 920-294-4279.



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