By Abijah Ahern

The Laramie High School Theater program has completed a fall fundraiser in an effort to raise money for upcoming performances. The fundraising program involves students selling tubs of cookie dough to their friends, family and neighbors. Students sold eight varieties of cookie dough as well as four other baked good options including pretzels and cinnamon rolls.

The LHS Theater program keeps 40 percent of the profit with 60 percent going to the manufacturer and distributor. The exact amount of money the program makes varies from year to year but it has made as much as $8,000 in the past. Success of the fundraiser is determined by student investment and community involvement.

Selling cookie dough can be difficult for LHS students. It isn’t always easy to sell something to people in your community.

“Honestly it can be a little nerve-wracking but I think it’s really good for the program as a whole,” senior Isla Skinner said.

Michael Hancey, the theater instructor for LHS believes that the cookie dough fundraiser has benefits outside of the money raised for the theater program.

“They have to think ahead, they have to plan, they have to be outgoing,” Hancey said.

The primary source of revenue for the LHS Theater productions are ticket sales. Local fundraising opportunities such as themed events coinciding with performances also contribute income. Local businesses are able to buy advertisement space in the show programs for LHS productions. These revenue sources supplemented by the cookie dough program have helped LHS fund performances for the past eight years.

The shows can be expensive. They can cost upwards of $10,000 with money allocated for costumes, sets, script royalties and numerous other expenses.

“I’ve got a whole spreadsheet of what the budget looks like,” Hancey said.

Under Hancey’s guidance the LHS Theater program has begun to incorporate elaborate props, sets and training. Last spring they rented a plant puppet large enough to fit a person in it for the Little Shop of Horrors play. Other expenses include hiring a flight team for last fall’s Peter Pan to help actors learn how to glide across the stage. Hancey incorporates the show’s budgeting process into the curriculum helping students understand the cost of putting on a production.

The LHS Theater program has productions planned through this spring. The Musical Theater class’s fall show The Addams Family is already in the process of being blocked and memorized. It is scheduled to debut Nov. 10. Other performances scheduled for this year include a one act version of Macbeth and a spring performance of Into the Woods. Both of these shows have significant costs that the cookie dough fundraiser will help cover.