Local acts will unite this weekend for a variety-style show to raise money for children’s causes.

Act Out Theatre Group LLC of Dunmore and NEPA Strong — Small Business and Community Support will hold “The Not-So-Old-Fashioned Telethon” on Sunday, Jan. 31, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the event’s Facebook page.

The 12-hour event will feature around 20 acts from around the region ranging from vocalists to dancers to flute players, said Dan Pittman, Act Out’s owner and artistic director. He also hopes to line up a comedian and start off the day with a yoga lesson.

Throughout the day, the organizations the event will benefit will have a chance to speak to the audience about their work and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected them. They include the Day Nursery Association, Tri-Star Academy, Friends Forever Day Care, Wee Care Day Care, Ballroom ONE Dance Company, Scranton Fringe Festival, C & G Tutoring, the Children’s Advocacy Center of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the Rossetti Renaissance Group and Act Out.

“Every business that we are raising money for either works with children or has programs for children or teens,” Pittman said.

Each January, Act Out holds a “cabaret for a cause” to help local people, but that couldn’t happen this year because of the pandemic. The troupe still wanted to find a way to give back through a virtual program, and Pittman realized a telethon might work. Act Out exposes children to theater through various workshops and productions, so doing something to help kids was paramount.

“We work with kids from the area, and it was important to kind of give back to something that was so close to us because it’s a group that … when you think about the shutdown, you don’t think of children’s organizations as suffering,” Pittman said. “But we’re probably suffering as much as any other business.”

NEPA Strong founder Kristen Miller-Hahn had worked with Pittman through some of her group’s previous endeavors to help local people and businesses during the pandemic, and they wanted to come up with a way to shine a light on Act Out and support the community.

“I think it’s important to support children-based organizations at this time, especially because they’ve definitely been hit hard by the effects of COVID. … They had to either really pare it back or stop their services altogether,” Miller-Hahn said. “For children, it’s so important to have these program for growth, for socialization, for health.”

Some acts will perform live at Act Out’s theater, while others will entertain from other locations. The public can tune into it all on Facebook and donate to the fundraiser via PayPal through actouttheatre1@gmail.com or by mailing checks to Act Out Theatre Group, 150 E. Grove St., Suite 7, Dunmore, PA 18510.

“I’m excited that it’s kind of the community coming together to raise money for the kids and kids’ organizations,” Pittman said. “And it’s great to see how much people care.”


If you go

  • What: “The Not-So-Old-Fashioned Telethon,” presented by Act Out Theatre Group LLC and NEPA Strong — Small Business and Community Support
  • When: Sunday, Jan. 31, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Where: Facebook event page
  • Details: Donations can be made via PayPal through actouttheatre1@gmail.com or by mailing checks to Act Out Theatre Group, 150 E. Grove St., Suite 7, Dunmore, PA 18510. Proceeds benefit local children-focused charities and organizations.