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10 Jan 2020

Peeling Back The Curtain: A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Collaborating With KISS Theatre Co.

For over four years, Coal Creative has worked closely with KISS Theatre in a variety of ways. Our Founder, Gerard Durling, went through the Leadership Wilkes-Barre program where his group had to choose a community project to work on. They chose KISS Theatre as their non-profit organization and tasked themselves with a pretty hefty project: building them a new stage! From there, our relationship with KISS and the incredible organizers behind the organization has only grown stronger over time. Each semester our interns at Coal Creative would collaborate with Artistic Director, Jess Suda, to create their seasonal show posters and the accompanying social media graphics they needed. In the Spring of 2019, we had an intern by the name Samantha Bucher (who is now our Social Media & Design Specialist!) join us and was quickly tasked with the creation of the posters and graphics.

Samantha fell in love. And we all knew it here at Coal Creative (and we’re pretty sure KISS Theatre personnel knew it too).

Since we were expanding more in the design realm at the time, we brought Samantha officially onto the team after her internship ended. As we moved forward, and started another semester of interns, we had asked Samantha to continue working on the posters herself. Season by season, Samantha has been so incredibly creative and committed to creating the best designs she can for the local theatre group – we knew this was her project for the keeping.

More recently, we asked Samantha to speak on her experience working with KISS Theatre over the last year. Here is what she had to say:

“In every line of work, there comes a point where you start to wonder, “Is what I’m doing here meaningful?” Luckily, during my time at Coal Creative, I have been able to answer that question with a resounding “Yes!” every time it comes up, in part because I get to design the KISS Theatre posters each season. Theatre holds a special place in my heart. I was lucky enough to go to a high school with an astounding arts program, where I participated in theatre all four years. I carry the skills I built there with me up to this day. The fact that I get to work with KISS, who helps children in the community build up those same skills, makes me incredibly happy. Jess is an amazing person and her passion for the arts and helping these kids shines through when we work together- it’s so inspiring. The best part is that my posters get auctioned off at the end of each show to help raise money for the program. Now, every time I’m designing a poster, I think back to my theatre days and know that I’m making a small difference in someone’s life.”

We are so proud of Samantha, we are so grateful for KISS Theatre, and we are so happy to continuously have the opportunity to positively impact our local community. 

Check out some of her favorite designs below!

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