GO-FAME Instills Confidence and Focus In Budding Performers

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EverythingLongBeach.com recently spoke with Kathy McGuire, Managing Director of GO-FAME, via email. They talked about the inspirations and challenges of running a nonprofit organization in Long Beach.

How long has GO-FAME been around? Did it start in Long Beach?

GO-FAME began in 2005 as an after school drama program at Minnie Gant Elementary School in Long Beach.  In October 2005 we produced Alice in Wonderland involving sixty students in grades 1-5.  Our most recent production was an original musical adaptation of The Velveteen Rabbit in February 2010.  These performances have taken place at the University Theater at nearby Long Beach State University.  In addition to theatrical productions, we have offered after school classes such as Introduction to Drama, Animation and Ballet Folkorico.

Describe GO-FAME. Tell us a little about your nonprofit, your mission, the people you serve or your goals.

GO-FAME is a theatrical producing and training program for youth (ages 8-18).  Our goal is to work with the diverse youth population in the City of Long Beach and bring them together in this collaborative art form. Our students learn the confidence, camaraderie and focus necessary for theater and any future pursuits in life .

To offer young people of all backgrounds, cultures and lifestyles the opportunity to produce professional-quality theatrical productions, study many aspects of
performing and visual arts, develop valuable life skills, and explore career options in the arts while providing outstanding entertainment to the community.

How is GO-FAME different from similar nonprofits?

We are different from other youth theater in the Long Beach area because we provide both theatrical training and performance opportunities. Also, all performers are under age 18. We do not put adults on stage. We set very high expectations for all aspects of our productions including costumes, sets and props.

How is GO-FAME involved with the community?

One of the amazing things about theatrical productions is that they create community. It truly takes a village to put on a show. Besides that, GO-FAME is
actively involved in Long Beach schools. We work with and support theatrical endeavors at the schools by sharing sets, costumes and props. We also provide service learning opportunities for middle school and high school students.

What are some of the biggest successes GO-FAME has had?

We have successfully produced seven shows in the last five years with an average cast size of 45 children. This year, we began offering theatrical training courses
at the GO-FAME Studio in the Long Beach Towne Center. But in the end, the biggest success was when a parent came up and told us that we had made a difference in her child’s life.

What is the most rewarding part of running GO-FAME?

We have had the honor of watching our students grow from shy first graders to confident, powerful performers.

What are the challenges you face — as a nonprofit, as an advocacy group, or in your industry?

One of the biggest challenges as a nonprofit theater group in Long Beach is finding an affordable performance space.

What are the future plans for GO-FAME?

We plan to continue to offer theatrical training courses including a summer program as well as a full season of shows.

Do you have any special events or fundraisers you’d like to tell us about?

Our next performance event will be our Teen Melodrama on April 27 & 28 and May 4& 5 at The Original Roadhouse Grill in the Long Beach Towne Center. Please visit our website, for more information and to print the flyer!

How can people get involved with GO-FAME? What do you need — volunteers, donations, etc?

We are happy to accept donations of all sorts. Please contact us if you have something you would like to give.

GO-FAME Details:

  • Address:  5848 Fairbrook Street
  • Phone Number:  562-884-7077
  • Website:  www.GO-FAME.org

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