2014 was a tremendous year for Memphis and the Orpheum. Here's a quick snapshot of one of the theatre's best years yet, plus a year-in-review video for you to enjoy:
Broadway Series: From the land of Oz to Ralphie's air rifle, the 2014 Broadway season was packed with spectacular productions (32 Tony wins collectively!). Watch the video to relive the highlights from all of these great shows: Wicked, War Horse, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Book of Mormon, Phantom of the Opera, Once, and A Christmas Story, The Musical.
Concerts, Comedians and Special Events: The Orpheum was honored to play host to a full slate of talented performers in 2014, including Gladys Knight, Morrissey, Crosby Stills and Nash, Penn & Teller, Aziz Ansari, Alton Brown and Widespread Panic -- just to name a few. The Grizz Girls also held audition finals right here on our stage!
Summer Movie Series: When you see a film at the Orpheum, you get more than a classic film -- you get an entire cinematic experience! We kicked off the 2014 summer series with a double dose of zombies and a "Thriller" flash mob on May 30. Other special events included an Orpheum-themed Clue game and a Little Princess tea party honoring Shirley Temple.
Education and Community Programs: Our education department has certainly been busy! Here's a quick look at how many students, families and teachers our 19 programs helped this year:
- 175: Teachers in professional development workshops, 58 for the first time and 21 who teach English as a second language
- 282: Schools in the tri-state area
- 825: Students in Workshops and Classes
- 6,340: Tickets granted to schools and students for education performances
- 36,326: Patrons in our Family and Student Matinee Series
- Over 70,000 students, teachers and families in all!
- A new Rising Stars camp for students in grades 2-4 and a Musical Theatre Intensive for high school students taught by Broadway director and choreographer Jeff Whiting -- both sessions were completely booked!
- A record 32 number of students serving on the S.T.A.R. Council
- A record 28 schools participating in the High School Musical Theatre Awards -- 2015 will have 30
- A successful Student and Family Series, including a sold-out performance of Black Violin
- Acceptance into the John F. Kennedy Center's Partners in Education program in partnership with Shelby County Schools
Annual Orpheum Events and Fundraisers: You all deserve a special shoutout for making our year even more meaningful! We hosted our 36th Annual Auction and Raffle -- congrats to all the winners! -- and the 13th Annual Ken Sossaman Memorial Golf Tournament, as well as several Dinners on Stage. Plus, you helped us kick off our inaugural Backstage Bash and first-ever Break-A-Leg 5K. Your support at each of these events, as well as your patronage at the theatre, are vital to our annual success.
Orpheum Centre for Performing Arts & Education: In March 2014, we broke ground on our new centre. With two floors totaling over 39,000 square feet of space, the centre will provide adequate classrooms for instruction, a large multi-use rehearsal hall, and a state-of-the-art stage and 356 seat theatre – allowing for more musicals, concerts, family programs, and multicultural events. Nine months later, you can really see what the building will become: a true haven for education and community in the Mid-South.
Theatre Headlines: We also shared some important news for the Orpheum and its future:
- Earlier this month, Pat Halloran announced his retirement and will end his 35-year tenure as President and CEO on December 31, 2015
- A new, state-of-the-art sound system was installed, the first major upgrade since the 1997 renovation
- Installation of new seat cushions began this month
- Plans were put into place to provide additional legroom; to renovate the theatre's bathrooms; and to restore the gold-and-silver leaf in the auditorium in future years.
In all, more than 266,000 patrons enjoyed the Orpheum in 2014 -- wow! Thanks for an incredible year. We have an amazing 2015 planned for you!