Costumes and Theatre Non-Profit

CACTI (Capital Area Costumes and Theatre Inc.) - A New Non-Profit

Helping to support Theatre Arts and Film for disadvantaged communities, schools, and individuals in the DC Northern Virginia areas, by providing affordable access to high-quality costumes, make-up, and theatre education and training.

3 Things You Need to Know:
-WE WANT TO HELP THE DC THEATRE AND FILM COMMUNITY. We are a new non-profit organization that's just starting out, dedicated to the goal of providing much needed services and resources to schools, theatre communities, and film communities in Washington DC and Northern Virginia.
-WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT. In order to make our goal a reality, we need financial support from the theatre community. We are currently seeking to raise $30,000 to get the new space set up for the organization, but we will eventually need at least $100,000 in order to get the non-profit fully operational. We won't be able to do this alone. We need your help!
-EVERY LITTLE BIT HELPS! Your donation WILL make a difference! Even if it is a small donation, such as $5 or less, it will still help us to make this non-profit a success. It's easy to get discouraged by the large amount of money we need to raise to get off the ground, but if every person in the DC theatre and film community donated just $5, we would have all the funds we need. No donation is too small!


Capital Area Costumes is an innovative response to a critical need in the theater community and the community at large.

Party stores and the internet have, unfortunately, made it impossible for a Costume and Theatre Supplies stores in the area to operate under the traditional for-profit retail business model. Almost all of the theatre stores in DC and Northern VA have closed down in recent years.

The problem with this is, internet sales and party stores do NOT address all the needs of the schools, community theaters, or professional companies. Crucial supplies and services will not be available, causing expense and hardship for the DC theatre and film community, UNLESS there is a local theatre store easily accessible, and ready to provide customized and professional service and high quality products.

Capital Area Costumes and Theatre Inc. will operate with a business model that supplements rentals and sales with educational programming, ensuring theater supplies remain accessible and affordable for schools, churches and small theaters.

Rip Claassen will be our program manager/director. He served as the owner of the American Backstage Company, and managed its predecessor, Backstage Inc. He has been in this business for over 30 years, and has professionally costumed over 100 shows, directed 33 shows, taught at Duke Ellington high school for the performing arts, run summer camp training programs and seven different drama summer camps over the years. His areas of expertise are costuming, make-up, set design, acting, and directing.

The mission of Capital Area Costumes and Theatre Inc is to provide educational support, technical support, costumes, and make-up to various schools, churches and theaters.

The services we will offer in our educational programs will include:

• Renting costumes at discounted rates, and selling make-up at competitive pricing with a sliding discount scale.
• Training and education in theatre arts, including acting, directing, make-up.
• Dramaturgical education, with classes, reports, and mentoring of novice costumers.
• Discounts for theater supplies to churches small nonprofit theaters and schools.
• Community programs such as summer camps for at-risk youth, with a focus on adolescents in the LGBT community and the autism spectrum community. (The summer camps will provide training in costuming, make-up and acting in a safe environment that will nurture the students throughout their personal challenges.)
• These camps and our after school and weekend programming will train these young people in job skills that will remain throughout our changing economy.
• Dramaturgical research for organizations that could not normally afford a full-time dramaturge. (These dramaturgical services include classes, lectures and reports to assist in the completion of their programs whether it be a theatrical production or a film or school project.)
• Running the CAPPIES program for home-school students.

We will also be offering costume rental subscriptions to other theatre non profits, schools and churches.

Remember, no donation is too small! If every theatre or film person in DC gave $5, we would be fully funded for our first year. After that our normal course of business will allow our programs to grow!
As well as these donations we are reaching out to other donors.

(Note: Our 501c3 Non-Profit status is currently pending. Our paperwork has been properly filed with the IRS, and we are now awaiting approval. We are allowed to raise funds while we wait to be approved, and will happily provide receipts, along with our Employer ID number, to any donors who wish to have them! We will also post an update as soon as we have been officially approved as a Non-Profit organization.)


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Rip Claassen 
Oak Hill, VA
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