A Live Fund Raising Theatre performance -
by Children of all Ages & Nationalities

At the Kad Theatre, Kad Suan Kaew, Chiang Mai

Organised by the Chiang Mai Charity Calendar

on Saturday, 21st February 2009

Photo courtesy of Wyndham Hollis 


    The success of the Chiang Mai Charity Calendar relied on the willingness of children to create something artistic in order to help other children. Our motivation comes from this wholehearted response, so the idea evolved naturally to expand this on to the theatre stage. 
   Not just any stage, but the elegant 1540- seat teakwood-panelled Kad Theatre in Chiang Mai, one of the most beautiful of its kind in Asia, still under-promoted, under-used, relatively little-known to the outside world, and one which we wanted to showcase on behalf of the city.
   Apart from taking the 'Childen helping Children' concept a stage further, our desire was to elevate local fund-raising to a level beyond the familiar gala dinners and garage sales. The notion of combining a live performance with a charitable cause, with creative expression provided by children willing to devote their time and talent to helping others, therefore represented a worthy ideal which we wanted to bring to life, not in an auditorium or the ballroom of a hotel, but a fully-equipped theatre of international standards.       

Photo courtesy of Wyndham Hollis 

If our vision was correct, our timing and expectations were wrong. Potential major sponsors whom we had reason to believe would help cover the rental cost of the Kad Theatre and associated expenses, delayed their decisions for several weeks, and because of the burgeoning economic crisis, finally withdrew. We were thus left to pay the full costs of production ourselves, and despite several pleas pointing out that our fund-raising initiative was now probably heading for a loss, we were unable to re-negotiate the contract with Kad Theatre management.
   The option was to cancel the performance which would have forfeited our advance deposit, plus caused huge disappointment amongst the kids who had set their hearts on taking part. We decided therefore that the 'show 'had to go on'
   Thanks to students, and to a number of generous sponsors, the 100 Baht tickets sold out. However, although many parents, friends and colleagues had reassuringly pledged their support, ticket sales for the Baht 400 and Baht 500 seats (on which our revenue depended) turned out to be insufficient. 
   "Small Wonders" therefore made a loss, but gained by allowing several hundred children a glimpse of live theatre, both as performers and spectators, and for many of them, it was the experience of a lifetime. As two absolute novice organisers, we also learned a lot about what is involved in putting on an event of this nature, and we are deeply grateful to the many people who came to our rescue when we frequently fell into the quicksands of theatre production.
  To all those who performed, bought tickets, and helped, encouraged, counselled, sustained and supported us through the months of planning, we say a very sincere thank you.
   Undaunted, we hope sometime to create another "Small Wonders" built on the invaluable experience gained from this one, and to creatively sustain our 'Children helping Children' objective. 
   The following 4 pages contain colourful photography of the show, reproduced by kind courtesy of Wyndham Hollis. The full set of "Small Wonders" on his own excellent gallery can be viewed at this link.        

       Photo courtesy of Peter Dillge