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Archive for December, 2011

A home for community theater

 

 

 

 

 

Program; Hershey Area Playhouse inaugural presentation of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," 12/4/2008

Program; Hershey Area Playhouse inaugural presentation of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." 12/4/2008

 

 Last weekend Hershey Area Playhouse closed another successful run of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.  The play has been a seasonal staple at the Playhouse since 2008, delighting audiences with its holiday themed story and positive message. 

  

 

On October 14, 1999 the Playhouse was launched with its production of "Barefoot In The Park."

 

 In 1999, the Hershey Area Playhouse (HAP) was founded by local residents who wished to bring community theater back to the Hershey area after a thirty year absence.  The first production, Barefoot in the Park, was performed in October of 1999. Since then there have been approximately three to five performances per season.  HAP strives to produces a variety of theatrical offerings:  classical and original theatrical plays, musicals, as well as cabaret nights.  In its early years the Playhouse productions were presented in a variety of community venues including Country Meadows, Lower Dauphin High School and even Hersheypark during its off season.

 

 

 

Groundbreaking for the new playhouse, 10/2006

Groundbreaking for the new theater, 10/2006

 

 

The early success of the Playhouse led to a campaign to find a permanent home for the Playhouse.  Prior to the construction of a permanent theater at Country Meadows performances were held in numerous locations.  The new theater was completed in 2007.

 

Hershey Area Playhouse has been placing its records in the Hershey Community Archives since 2004.  The collection records document the performances and events produced by the Playhouse since its beginning.  Currently, the records span the years 1998 to 2009.  Largely comprised of photographs and programs, the collection also includes audio visual recordings of the performances, correspondence, newsletters, posters, and scrapbooks .  The earliest records document initial efforts to establish the theater.  The scrapbooks contain photographs, programs, newspaper clippings, press releases, and other ephemera documenting performances and events.  To learn more about the collection and view a complete finding aid visit the Archives’ website and its online collections database.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertising Hershey Chocolate

One of the great myths in the advertising industry is that Hershey Chocolate did not begin  advertising until 1970.  Although the Corporation generally did not use consumer media advertising such as newspaper and magazine ads, or radio and television commercials, it did employ a variety of techniques to publicize itself. 

Hershey Chocolate Corporation offered store window displays to its customers to help them promote Hershey products.  ca. 1936

Hershey Chocolate Corporation offered store window displays to its customers to help them promote Hershey products. ca. 1936

Hershey Chocolate used its advertising dollars to promote its products to the stores and outlets that would sell Hershey’s products.  Hershey also believed in advertising its products where consumers could purchase them and created elaborate and often whimsical store window sets and in-store product displays that featured product in bountiful arrangements.  

Hershey Chocolate Corporation distributed charts such as this to schools to help them teach students about making chocolate.  1944

Hershey Chocolate Corporation distributed charts such as this to schools to help them teach students about making chocolate. 1944

In addition to store and window displays, it published a variety of educational pamphlets  and other materials that described the process of making milk chocolate and promoted the company.  The very first pamphlets appeared a few years after the factory began operations.  These pamphlets promoted the town and linked the success of the company with the model industrial town. 

 

Recipe pamphlets offered cooks new recipes using Hershey products.  Hershey's Syrup recipe pamphlet, ca.1936-1945

Recipe pamphlets offered cooks new recipes using Hershey products. Hershey's Syrup recipe pamphlet, ca.1936-1945

Hershey Chocolate Company published cooking pamphlets beginning about 1915 as a way to promote the use of its products and introduced its first cookbook about 1922.  One of the most far reaching advertising techniques Hershey employed was creating and inserting specially sized postcards, in standard-sized milk chocolate bars to promote the company and the town.  The postcards showed scenes of factory operations, diary farms that illustrated milk chocolate wholesome ingredients, and attractive view of Milton Hershey’s model town. These postcards were distributed nationally and found their way around the world.  In the Archives collections you can find postcards with postmarks from China, Alaska, Mexico and France. 

 

Hershey Chocolate Corporation promotional films featured the town of Hershey as well as the chocolate factory and Hershey products.  1932

Hershey Chocolate Corporation promotional films featured the town of Hershey as well as the chocolate factory and Hershey products. 1932

The desire to promote the company and the town eventually led to Hershey Chocolate Corporation to underwrite the production of a series of movies that promoted the products and the town.  In 1932 the company produced a 48-minute educational film that described chocolate production and the model town made possible by the success of Hershey’s milk chocolate. This film was shown primarily in schools.  The following year two films were produced: “Seeing Wonders,” a movie short promoted Hershey as a travel destination and the “Chocolatetown Review,” another short film that featured Hershey Chocolate products as marionettes in a vaudeville style show.  Both of these films would have been seen as “shorts” shown in movie theaters before the feature film.  World War II and the death of Milton Hershey in 1945 ended the company’s exploration of new advertising techniques.