White Pines Productions, Inc. is dedicated to transforming people's lives through performance creativity. We do this by nurturing the citizen artist, who is committed to using his/her creative gifts in service to communities.
We offer classes and workshops in the performing arts to all ages including children, adults, seniors and people with special needs; we present shows performed by our ensemble, Bright Invention; we offer special programs off-site such as corporate training and development, in-school residencies, and special Bright Invention shows for schools and groups; and we offer support to other artists through residencies and special programs.
Statement of Principles
Think globally, act locally. Our value proposition is that creativity saves lives. We bring that proposition to people in our various communities: locally in and around Elkins Park, and artistically in the greater Philadelphia region. Through education and performance, we begin changing the world through the people closest to us.
Nurturing the Citizen-Artist. Our focus is on supporting artists, rather than selling art. We create opportunities and provide support for artists who are making a lasting commitment to their communities as citizens.
Both-And. The citizen-artist needs a place to create in order to work effectively and passionately with the community. Therefore, White Pines is both a service organization (supporting artists and communities), and a producing organization (making its own shows and presenting the work of White Pines artists.)
Transformation. We believe that artistic creativity is a spiritual act, invigorating that which is best in human beings. We believe that everyone is creative, and therefore, we believe that creativity has the potential to transform lives and repair the world.
A Brief History
White Pines Productions was born in the spring of 2009, when Benjamin Lloyd produced and directed Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier by local playwright William di Canzio in downtown Philadelphia. Our name comes from that play: the two main characters go to a fictional community college in New Hampshire called White Pines Community College.
From the fall of 2009 to the summer of 2012, White Pines was located at the beautiful Elkins Estate in Elkins Park, PA. While there, our programming grew to include site-specific performances, concerts and play readings. We began offering regular classes in the performing arts and a summer camp. And the Summer Resident Ensemble Program was born, in which White Pines offered residencies to performing arts ensembles from across the country as well as to some of Philly's finest groups (like New Paradise Laboratories, The Berserker Residents and Tangle Movement Arts.)
In the fall of 2012 we left the Estate and had "a year in the wilderness". But we didn't stop making art and supporting artists. During this time we moved the Summer Resident Ensemble Program to the beautiful Mohican Outdoor Center in Blairstown, New Jersey. We produced a series of site-specific "happenings". And we returned to our work giving local playwrights productions, by presenting Jerry Perna's The Music You Remember and Martha Kemper's Luckiest Kid in Philadelphia in the fall of 2013. Our interest in performing arts ensembles grew as well, and that fall Benjamin Lloyd and Jennifer MacMillan founded Bright Invention: The White Pines Ensemble.
Supported by an anonymous donor, we moved into a corner storefront at 7908 High School Road, Elkins Park, PA in February 2014, named it The White Pines Place, and have been there ever since. Since then, our educational offerings have grown exponentially, Bright Invention has presented it's own shows and performed in various White Pines programs, and we have nurtured ties to our Elkins Park community. New initiatives have grown from this home base: our work with people with special needs, our work with seniors in low-income housing sites, corporate training, school residencies and Story Toys.
Through it all, we have tested and refined a new, nimble and flexible vision for performing arts organizations in America: based on diverse programming, responsive to community needs, and employing the gifts of our ensemble of improvisational actors.
Our slogan - White Pines: Dynamic Creativity, Growing Communities, Lasting Relationships.
At White Pines, we strive never to allow commercial forces prohibit the transforming power of performance creativity. The economic ideas at work at White Pines are inspired by the book The Gift by Lewis Hyde. Here is a quote from the book:
When a gift moves in a circle its motion is beyond the control of the personal ego, and so each bearer must be a part of the group and each donation is an act of social faith . . . . Having accepted what has been given to him - either in the sense of inspiration or in the sense of talent - the artist often feels compelled, feels the desire, to make the work and offer it to an audience.
White Pines Productions, Incorporated is tax exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the federal tax code.
White Pines is made possible through the support of the Wyncote Foundation.