Zap! Theatre completed its five show run of the musical comedy Jitterbug Juliet on last month raising $10,221 for the Christian Life Orphanage in Mwanza, Tanzania.
“It is absolutely phenomenal the amount of support this project has garnered,” said Daniel Allers, general manager and founder of Zap! Theatre. He added the funds generated by the play are impressive considering the group did not charge a ticket price, but accepted admission by free will offering. Zap! Theatre has been using its performances to raise money for the Christian Life Orphanage since its inception in 2012. It has already raised enough funds to build a proper dormitory for the orphanage.
Currently the 32 boys in the orphanage are living in a three-bedroom house, said Allers. The dormitory is currently under construction and is near completion.
Zap! Theatre now hopes to use the money it raised from its most recent production to furnish the dormitory with bunk beds, mattresses and mosquito netting, as well as covering operating costs of the facility.
The Christian Life Orphanage was started in 2005 by Tanzanian couple Patrick and Bernice Mwanuti for street orphans in Mwanza. The couple ran the orphanage out of a three-bedroom home they owned, though they themselves lived in another building.
While Allers is the founder of Zap! Theatre and acts as the organization’s manager, he said it is Debbie Zepick who brought Christian Life Orphanage to his attention.
Zepick got involved with the orphanage after her son came into contact with it during a side stop on his way to Kilimanjaro from Burundi on a mission trip.
Meanwhile, to ensure all of the funds raised by their shows go towards helping the orphanage, members of ZAP! Theatre donate their own funds to cover the costs of productions. Zepick said that she is impressed by this dedication. “It’s amazing,” said Zepick. “This is a very unique group of people. It’s humbling really.”