Thursday, December 20, 2012

Donate to Imagination Theater

Please keep Imagination Theater in mind as you consider which great causes and organizations to support in the final days of 2012.

Our programs are vital to the students we serve.  In some cases Imagination Theater is a student's only exposure to the arts.  In all cases, the themes explored in our shows initiate meaningful reflection on one's role in a community.

Our mission is mighty.  We need your help to share our programming with as many audiences as possible.  No donation is too small.

You can see the work your donation supports at  Click here to donate today!

Have a very happy holiday!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fundraise Without Even Trying

If you have last minute gifts to buy, then you have an awesome opportunity to buy TWO gifts for the price of one!  

Through Goodsearch and Goodshop, you can earn donations for Imagination Theater simply by buying gifts for your friends (and maybe a little something for yourself)!  

I know, it sounds too good to be true.  However, it is actually true.  All you have to do is surf over to  When it prompts you to 'choose your cause' type 'Imagination Theater'.  That wasn't too hard, right?  You're almost done.

Click the link to Goodshop.  You can now choose from an enormous list of online retailers like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kohls, Land's End, Apple and more!  Select where you want to shop and continue shopping like normal.  Only it's not like normal.  That store will now donate a percentage of your purchase to Imagination Theater!

This is the easiest way to support Imagination Theater, so if you have any shopping left to do, please keep us in mind.

If you need a reminder of the kind of programming these donations support you can always visit

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Year's Resolutions!

The windows are frosted over and hot cocoa has surpassed apple cider as the top reward I give myself in afternoon.  The bulk of my shopping is complete, and I am joyously passing the minutes by procrastinating the wrapping and assembly of gifts.  Yes, the most relaxing part of the holiday season has arrived.  This is when I actually have time to sit with a cup of cocoa and contemplate things like New Year's resolutions.

Life has a very special learning curve, so it is no surprise that a few of my resolutions are repeats from years' past.  However, there are also new entries on my list.  Over the course of the past year, just like anyone else, I've grown, learned, made mistakes, reaccessed, and set new goals.  This year's list of resolutions will continue to grow and morph until the first second of 2013 ticks by.

However, as I mull over my first draft, I am struck by the number of goals that are reinforced by the assembly programs I've worked so hard on in 2012.  I want to get into shape and respect my health just like Making Healthy Choices encourages our audiences to do.  I hope to play an active role in changing my environment for the better, just as Take A Stand equips middle and high school students to do.  I want my friends and family to understand how much I appreciate them, just like we stress in Show Some Respect: Holiday Edition!

I have an aggressive list of resolutions in my hands, but it's immensely satisfying to know that my participation in Imagination Theater in 2012 has set the ground work for most of my goals in 2013.

Imagination Theater's performances are geared toward the specific audience ages.  The lessons in each assembly, however, are for everyone.  As the year comes to a close, that's a great takeaway. 

As always, for more information about Imagination Theater and our assembly programs, feel free to visit

-Jeremy Schaefer

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Show Some Respect: Holiday Edition!

It takes a few days for Thanksgiving dinner to digest and for the lethargic impulse to nap in front of a football game to pass.  However, once the post-Thanksgiving world snaps into action, a busy December takes over.

Even in the absence of snow flurries, December is a month entirely unlike the rest of the calendar.  Many students are consumed by an indefatigable excitement for winter vacation, travel, gifts, sweets, and visiting relatives.  Amidst all that enthusiasm, it's easy to forget to show respect.  That's why Imagination Theater created Show Some Respect: Holiday Edition.  This seasonal version of Show Some Respect is tailored to holiday themes and winter settings.  It features fun, brand new scenes, and it feels like a celebration!

Show Some Respect: Holiday Edition reinforces positive social behavior while complimenting school holiday parties and end of the year festivities.  Our signature interactive format explores respect as it applies to different religious holidays, unique family traditions, gratitude, giving vs. receiving, inclusion, and more!

We're thrilled to share Show Some Respect: Holiday Edition as we celebrate the holidays and all of 2012's achievements!  Our first performance coincides with the first school day in December (December 3rd)!  If you would like to share this program with your students contact us right away to hold a date!  Availability is limited!

As always, you can find more information about Imagination Theater's programs at

- Jeremy Schaefer     

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Custom Designed Performances!

Like a Great Tailor, 

Imagination Theater Customizes Shows For The Perfect Fit!

Every Imagination Theater script is the product of countless hours spent researching, conversing with schools, meeting with experts, rehearsing, writing, and rewriting.  Every chance to share our rounded, diverse and relatable shows with eager audiences is a rich reward for all our efforts.  

Imagination Theater's programming roster covers a wide array of topics, but schools are unique organizations with circumstances and priorities specific to their student bodies.  That's why our format is highly customizable.  If we don't have a show for the topic you need addressed, we'll build one from scratch! 

NCDAA recently called on Imagination Theater to strategically design two brand new shows distinctly for the schools they serve.  As a result, students receiving e-readers and tablets explored the responsibility that comes with powerful technology by participating in an interactive scene accelerated by audience input.  Not only did students enjoy testing their knowledge, but they were empowered to make the best possible decisions regarding their new learning tools!

For Imagination Theater, creating something new is a golden opportunity.  For schools looking for something new, Imagination Theater is a golden opportunity.  Give us a call and see what we can create for you.

As always, for more information you can visit

-Jeremy Schaefer

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

It takes a village

The products of meaningful collaboration are truly inspiring. Imagination Theater routinely partners with granting organizations, specialists, evaluators, and artists to maximize benefit of our programs to the communities we serve. Such partnerships allow our programs to grow stronger and faster than they would without the support of multiple, enthusiastic entities working toward the same goal.

We are absolutely thrilled to enter into a new project with the support of Japanese Chamber of Commerce & Industry of Chicago, Communities in Schools of Chicago, and Judy Freedman. This new collaboration will result in one school confronting teasing and bullying head on.

JCCC is funding a treasure chest of teasing and bullying programming for one lucky Chicago Public School. Imagination Theater, working in concert with Communities in Schools of Chicago, will select the recipient school. Once selected, the entire student body will participate in our wildly popular Ease the Tease 2.0, and receive follow up visits from the actors. Before the show, school staff will be treated to an In-Service training led by Judy Freedman and supported by Imagination Theater actors. Parents will be invited to an award winning workshop with Judy Freedman that will reinforce teasing response strategies at home

Imagination Theater couldn’t have accomplished all of this alone. We are grateful for and inspired by the amazing results of partnership. We look forward to setting all of this into motion!

As always, you can learn more about Imagination Theater at!

- Jeremy Schaefer

Friday, August 31, 2012

On The Road

One of the many attributes that make Imagination Theater unique is our gleefully nomadic ensemble.  All of our shows are performed in schools, libraries and community organizations that are often many miles away from our office.

As the marketing director, I'm often back in the office working the phones while our actors are performing.  My favorite days are the days I head out to a performance site and surprise the cast by joining the audience.  These shows are why I'm here, and it's a pleasure to see them in action.

When we're exceptionally busy, like the past few weeks, and our facilitators our scattered around the country, I get to step into the facilitator's role and see the show from our actors' point of view.

I started with Imagination Theater as an actor, and I continue to perform in the evenings with a number of companies.  So, sure, I love being on the stage.  An Imagination Theater show, however, is unlike any other stage.  Our shows make connections and memories, provoke laughter and discussion, excite and encourage.  As a performer it's an incredible rush to pull an audience member on stage and coach them through a scenario, or lead a discussion about a challenging topic.

After performing a run of shows, I'm even more invigorated by our performances, even more proud of our performers, and even more inspired by our audience!

As always, if you want to learn more about our programs, you can visit

-Jeremy Schaefer

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Radio Disney!

People who work in social issues theater, love talking about it!

We at Imagination Theater are no different.  Executive Artistic Director, Steve Leaver, and myself were thrilled when we were invited by Radio Disney's 'In Tune', to come on air and talk about all things Imagination Theater.  We also had the opportunity to talk a little about Justin Beiber!

We had a great time in the studio with DJ Angela sharing our passion for Imagination Theater along with some of our most memorable moments spreading our company's mission.

You can hear the whole interview here.

As always, you can find more information about Imagination Theater at

- Jeremy Schaefer

Friday, August 17, 2012

Trains, Planes and Automobiles!

We are on the move!

The tail end of August is always a very, very busy time for Imagination Theater!  This August is even busier than usual because we have reworked, rewritten and rehearsed a brand new program for college orientation.  This new version of COLLEGE 101 is all set to hit the ground running!

In two short weeks we'll be making two separate trips to Iowa, three separate trips to the east coast, and our first trip to Cleveland!  That's in addition, of course, to a slew of local performances.

As an artist, it's incredibly rewarding to create something new and share it with diverse audiences right away!  The scenes look fantastic, the new facilitation is as challenging as it is relevant, and our new ensemble members are visibly passionate about the work. 

COLLEGE 101 is the official kick off to our new season.  If this is the beginning, we can't wait to see where else we go.

As always, you can learn more about Imagination Theater at

- Jeremy Schaefer

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ease the Tease 2.0 Rehearsal!

Popular lore and Hollywood films have a propensity to portray the artistic process as a particularly lonely one.  While that may be accurate for many artists, Imagination Theater is fortunate enough to work every day with talented and passionate collaborators!

Judy Freedman, a licensed clinical social worker, and author of Easing the Teasing, has worked closely with Imagination Theater for a number of years.  Our popular Ease the Tease program is based entirely on the skills and strategies taught in her book, Easing the Teasing.

Naturally, when we decided to update that program to feature new skills and new scenarios, we worked very closely with Judy.  Our ensemble was fortunate enough to have her attend a rehearsal!  Judy had excellent feedback to share with us!

Enjoy this video of an Ease the Tease 2.0 rehearsal and a collaboration in process!

For more information about Judy Freedman, please visit

As always, for more information about Imagination Theater, you can visit

—Jeremy Schaefer

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rehearsal in Progress!

There is never a dull moment in the Imagination Theater offices.

Summer may be a slower time for performances, but it's prime time for rehearsals and show creation!  With several new ensemble members, and two brand spanking new programs, there is a lot to keep us busy this summer!  Thankfully, when your work and your passion are one in the same, a busy schedule is a true blessing.   Rehearsals are not only educational, they're also a blast!

Here's a video from Imagination Theater's improv rehearsal.  If you've ever wondered how we practice improvisation, how we learn theater games, or how we master the art of the effective forum scene... be sure to check this out.

As always, you can visit for more information.

-Jeremy Schaefer

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Rehearsal

It has been a very long time since I've experienced a first day of school, and yet those memories are still particularly potent.   Will I make friends?   Are my shoes cool enough? Did I remember my lunch?   Oh no, I forgot my lunch!

The first rehearsal at Imagination Theater can feel a little like the first day of school.   Several new faces come together for the first time to learn Imagination Theater's format and incorporate our mission into every aspect of performance.   That's a huge undertaking.

Thankfully, our new ensemble members were welcomed into the Imagination Theater family.  The whole group freely shared jokes, ideas, and philosophies.

During our improv workshop we brought brand new scenes to life and demonstrated a new ensemble that is ready to take on any challenge.  This group is well on their way to improving communities through powerful, interactive theater.   Imagination Theater will be ready for your first day of school.

As always, you can get more information at

-Jeremy Schaefer

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Brochure

This morning I'm busy working on the brochure for our new season!  I'm trying to figure out the best way to highlight two brand new shows!

We update our scenes every season.  This season, however, we are starting from scratch and creating two entirely original programs!  The 2012/13 season will offer our most effective arsenal of bully prevention programs yet! 

We're very excited to get these new shows on their feet!

Until then... you can always see what's going on by visiting

-Jeremy Schaefer

Thursday, July 5, 2012

103 Degres

We all make sacrifices for our art.  That's a given.  I'm not bragging, but today I made mine.

It's 103 degrees outside.  In our un-air-conditioned office it is 209 degrees (give or take hyperbole).  Normally on days like this I work from home, but I needed the phone and the office printer so I filled a water bottle and hit the road.

After only three hours of phone calls and paperwork, I was reduced to sweat and tears.  However, the labor is not the sacrifice I speak of.  When I got home my Wii-Fit informed that I had actually sweated off five pounds!  Five pounds... just... gone.

I was so busy customizing shows and holding dates, that I didn't even have time to celebrate!  I'll get to that now.

I might not go to the office tomorrow, since this sort of weight loss isn't healthy, so if you want more information on Imagination Theater you can visit us at

-Jeremy Schaefer

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Working Remotely

It's summer and the office is hotter than Vulcan's forge.  As a result, I'm working from home.  The best part about working remotely is spending quality time with my laziest co-worker, Fu Fu.

As always, you can see the products of our work at

-Jeremy Schaefer

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Last Minute Shows!

Like anyone, we try to plan ahead.  Try.

However, when a project arrives on our doorstep last minute, we do everything within our power to put together a top notch product.

Late Monday we recieved a phone call from a customer hoping to bring two shows to her youth on Wednesday.  That's only two days (realistically 1.5) to coordinate schedules with our busy ensemble for a home run performance.

Our actors receive their shows two weeks in advance.  Often, when there's less than two weeks notice, their myriad talents are already poured into other projects and thier free time committed to work and family.  That said, it's always worth a try... esspecially when the clock is ticking.

I started attacking the phones, but many of our actors were in shows or rehearsals so their phones, naturally, were silenced.  I sent out e-mails and received a quick reply from actors filming out of state, boarding planes, teaching summer courses and otherwise unavailable for a show on short notice.

Then, just as I was getting ready to advice the client on show alternatives, it happened.  Our artistic director stepped into the facilitator role (facilitation is his passion and it's what he consistently coaches our actors on.)  Another actress rescheduled an audition.  Suddently we had a cast!

It doesn't always work out when schedules are tight and the turn around is quick.  However, it feels great to pack the car for a couple of shows that didn't even exist 24 hours ago!

As always, for more on Imagination Theater, visit

-Jeremy Schaefer

Monday, June 25, 2012


Hello and welcome!  Thanks for stopping by!

Life behind the scenes at any non-profit brings a new adventure every day.  Imagination Theater tours the country and ignites discussions about potent social issues in elementary schools, corporations, universities, park districts, and everywhere in between... so our days can be particularly adventurous.

Here we aim to open a window into our process so that you can share in all our adventures from the major life changing events we encounter in schools, to our inexorable search for our three hole punch and other illusive office supplies.

We’re spending the summer prepping for a busy academic year that will see the debut of two brand new shows, bring our programming to new universities and new states, and welcome some talented young actors into our ensemble.

Stay tuned as a new season descends upon us, new horizons are explored and old office supplies are rediscovered!

As always, you can visit us at

-Jeremy Schaefer