UPDATE: We still need to pay our choreographer and programs B4 we raise money for our 2018 season.
Please help us raise our last $2,000
Last year was a huge success, Let us keep the momentum going and help us put on a Great Spring Musical for the Dery Legacy, in honor of the Erickson Legacy.
If you have lived in Portland for the past 40 plus years, you may have heard of the late great musical theater director, James N. Erickson, who was a staple at the Lakewood Center as well as the now defunct Portland Civic Theatre, Sylvia’s Class Act Dinner Theatre and the Musical Company. Plus he produced Breakfast with Santa for Meier and Frank for over 30 years.
Erickson was also the head of the Beaverton High School Theater Arts Department for 29 years from 1970 to 1999, and was an enduring mentor for many of Portland’s thriving theater scene from Jay Horenstein, Greg Tamblyn, Dale Johannes, and John Oules to Broadway stars such as Brooks Ashmanskas and Shoshanna Bean.
After Erickson’s retirement in 1999 and sudden death in 2004, the Beaverton High Drama Department struggled for over a decade up until last year, when Shannon Dery stepped up to lead a new generation of theater (and queer) students.
To gain some support, I contacted my celebrity friends and was able to get Olivia Newton-John to do a small shout out to ask people to help save the school’s 2016 production of “Grease.”
We raised over $3,000, and as a bonus, many alumni that hadn’t visited their high school in decades came back and pledged their support for Erickson’s successor.
So how do we top Olivia Newton-John? It was luck that Beaverton chose Terrence McNally’s adaptation of the classic film of “Catch Me If You Can,” which made its world premiere at Seattle’s famed Fifth Avenue Theater, which I have a connection to.
From May 17-20, 2017, BHS Theater will mount a Huge spring Musical of "Catch Me if you can" (Book by Terrence McNally and Music by Shaiman/Whitman) that made its debut at Seattle's 5th ave Theatre in 2009 before hitting Broadway. The 5th ave in Seattle is the closest example of what the shows were like during the Erickson Era.
They encouraged me to get in touch with the composers, Marc Shaiman and Scott Whitman (Hairspray), who agreed to record the shout-out — and totally surprised me with a cameo by the king of Broadway himself, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton)!
All funds allocated will go to the Choregrapher and programs/
We need volunteers and contributions to give these kids the professionalism and the support that only the legacy of Erickson can provide.
Michael Montgomery, JNELP Chair Class of '88 a Project of Outview Outreach
Beaverton family, friends, and fans - Thank you so much for taking the time to view our fundraiser page. Your support will help us offer a higher quality high school theater experience for all our kids. Your donation is tax deductible and you will be getting a receipt for your gift. If you could please spread the word about our fundraiser by sharing it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter we would greatly appreciate it. Here's to another great year of Beaver theater! -