I'm always looking for creative ways to support the performing arts (Hint: the biggest way is to actually buy a ticket and go) so this time of year, I look for some equally creative ways to give the gift of theater and music to friends.
I had to smile at Threshold Repertory Theatre's solution for contributors. It has an Adopt-an-Actor program and is described on the website this way: "Actors make great companions, house-trained, good at memorization, smart & witty, compassionate and dramatic."
For $250 you get to pick a main stage show, pick your actor, receive a bio and photo of him or her, be recognized in the production program, receive a signed program from your actor and get to pick your seat in the theater.
It's a charming way of drumming up support, and, of course, the actors at Threshold do meet the above criteria of being witty and charming and it's a great way of giving tax deductible contribution.
Threshold Theatre has productions at 841/2 Society St. and it's a 99-seat black-box hall. The company has a place on the website that you can fill out the adoption papers, so go to www.charlestontheater.com/#!adopt-an-actor-/cypk for more information.
Sigh, now if they would only come to dinner and bring their repartee.
JAC as gifts
Jazz Artists of Charleston has gift certificates that you can have e-mailed directly to the recipient within 48 hours of purchase, which is great for those last-minute shoppers. If you shop this weekend, the gift recipient will still get the certificate in time for Christmas.
If you want to give a gift certificate that requires mailing, it will take 5 to 7 business days after the purchase and there's an additional $1 mailing fee.
The gift certificates are good for performances, merchandise or just plain donations to the group. The jazz artists are truly thriving in our city, and are quickly making a name for Charleston as the "Other New Orleans" when it comes to hearing good music.
Go to http://jazzartistsofcharleston.org/gift-certificates/ to order.
Do you really want a toaster for Christmas?
That's the silly question on the Summerville Orchestra's website showing off gift certificates.
The orchestra is a wonderful community resource and tickets are $10 to hear so many wonderful and popular choices of music.
The orchestra is getting even more creative though. They will prepare a custom-designed gift basket, or combine the gift certificate with a dinner package at a favorite local restaurant.
It's a gift for any price point. Call 873-5339 and get started. If you get on the ball, you can get your tickets or gift certificates mailed by Dec. 20, or you can pick them up at the office. Go to summervilleorchestra.com.
Of course, if you miss deadlines, there is always Gift Rocket. It's like a gift card in that it's meant to be spent at a specific place, but it's more flexible because the recipient collects the money up front and ultimately decides how to use it.
This is a gift card that includes several local arts organizations, including Nina Liu and Friends, but it's really good for any business nationwide.
You suggest the business to the recipient, but they don't have to use it there. They can just redeem the gift card online and use the money however they wish. It's a classier way to send a monetary gift to someone, and it's all done online. A few touches on your smartphone and shopping is done. Gift Rocket does the work and it's not like those gift certificates that are locked into a particular location.
Reach Stephanie Harvin at 937-5557.