Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance

The Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance is an alliance of producing organizations, individual theatre artists and technicians, and administrators formed to foster and promote high quality theatre and arts education in the Sacramento area and neighboring regions.

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Address:PO Box 162566
Sacramento, CA 95816
County or Parish:Sacramento
Primary NTEE:Arts,Culture & Humanities 
Sub NTEE:Alliances & Advocacy 
Executive Director:Leslie Addiego
Primary Phone:916-443-8229
SARTA was founded in 1984 by several members of the acting community including Ray Tatar the current artistic director of California Stage. In November 1986, SARTA was incorporated and in June 1988 we became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Over the years, SARTA has offered acting classes, audition workshops, headshot days, General Auditions, Theatre Week, and many other events. SARTA inherited the Elly awards from the then co-founders Robert Kelly, Miriam Gray and Jeanne Runyon in 1986. The Elly Awards are now entering their 35th year and SARTA has been producing two separate ceremonies - one for Youth and one for Adults since 2012 (30th anniversary). In 1982, there were only 15 judges in three categories - Comedy, Drama, and Musicals - and 27 awards were given out.

There are now 30 plus volunteer Elly judges who are responsible for viewing all the shows in one of six categories. An Elly coordinator/tabulator electronically tracks over 200 show submissions annually from 70 participating theatres. Current categories include Comedy, Drama, Education, Musicals, Original Scripts - Adult, Original Scripts - Youth, Young People's - Musicals & Plays, and Children's Theatre Productions. Both Elly ceremonies include musical performances from nominated shows and utilize youth and adult nominees and past winners as presenters, plaque carriers, ushers, and house and backstage volunteers. Over 90 Elly awards plaques are distributed in total. Tickets are sold to each ceremony to help offset the cost of the ceremony. SARTA offers reduced ticket prices for Elly nominees, SARTA members and groups of ten or more.

Since 2010, the SARTA board has created a Lifetime Achievement Award which is announced at the Adult Elly Award ceremony. This award is given to those community theatre members that have shown exemplary commitment to fostering the promotion of community theatre in the local and regional Sacramento area. Past recipients have included Janis Stevens, Rodger McDonald, Ray Tatar, the late Mitch Agruss, Rodger Hoopman, Connie Mockenhaupt, James Wheatley, Ed Claudio, Ron Cisneros and the late Boots Martin. Since 2003, SARTA has been operating with an all volunteer board and since 2009 SARTA has been successfully operating without paid office staff due to the leveraging of technologies such as email, website, webportals, paypal, and email marketing (Constant Contact). SARTA moved into new office space in Sacramento county in March 2015 and can now hold board meetings, Elly judge trainings, mini-workshops, small mixers, and networking nights in the expansive new space.
SARTA is a theatre arts service organization for over 90 member theatres - from community theatres to high school and college theatres and everything in between and within a 70-mile radius of Sacramento. SARTA has been very successful in retaining a solid membership base of around 250 and has had excellent success with building a new and active donor base thanks to our Big Day of Giving training and participation for the past two years. SARTA hopes to continue this growth throughout the coming years.

Our top needs:
  1. Volunteers - The Elly Judging program is always in need of volunteer judges. Elly judges must commit to one year, have their own car, and access to a computer for scoring purposes. Training is provided. Theatres provide two complimentary tickets to show.
  2. Technology - SARTA would like a major website update to make it more interactive, and theatre-goer friendly. We would like to incorporate more photos/videos for shows, expand the talent database and add an audition portal and calendar. (Estimated cost is $1500)
  3. Funding: Program - Need to keep successful programs supported: Financial support in the form of underwriting for long-time programs like the Elly Awards (Estimated cost - $2000-$4000) and adding new programs like workshops and networking mixers.
  4. In-Kind Donations - Donations of food and drink (or gift cards for such) for programs and events are always needed. Basic office supplies and cleaning supplies are always appreciated. Water, snacks, office supplies, and cleaning supplies are always welcome.
  5. Furniture - Need for livable space - Additional bookshelves for recently donated scripts (Estimated Cost - $200) and folding chairs for workshops and meetings/mixers/receptions (Estimated Cost - $20/chair).
Since 2009, SARTA has been represented by an all-volunteer board of five women. All board members hold down full-time jobs while being active board participants. Leveraging the advantage of online processes such as email, website, Paypal, online banking, online membership processing, Elly awards judging portal and 3rd party ticketing vendors, has allowed our small organization to survive during the recession and to thrive during the economic rebound. More time can be spent on face-to-face activities such as SARTA member and donor cultivation, SARTA workshops, volunteer appreciation receptions, member networking events, Elly Award Ceremony planning, and Big Day of Giving.

Additionally, SARTA board members are encouraged to participate in other community activities from answering phones at KVIE to coordinating a clothing drive for WEAVE to having a booth at the annual Lenaea High School theatre festival.