Banner Photo by Loli Kantor - 2001 - On The Road
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Actors and Stage Crew from the Past:

If you performed in or were a member of the production crew of an Hip Pocket Theatre production please send us your current contact information by clicking on the link below and filling in the form.

As we are transferring the old videos to DVD, we are also wishing to identify all of the actors in the play and the names of the production staff. To aid in this process, we'd like to contact past production staff and actors to hear their stories and ask their help in identifying individuals in the videos.

Thank You!

Contact Form
Preserving Our Past:

The Hip Pocket Theatre has been filming its productions for many years and most of the old videos, prior to 2005, were lost to us for many years. Not long ago we came into possession of a large collection of the old videos shot by Dwight Welsh (see photo to left - approximately 70% of the collection). These recordings are in various formats from standard VHS to Super VHS and 3/4" U-Matic with even a few Betamax thrown in for good measure. We put the collection into temperature controlled storage, for safe keeping, always with the thought we would try to transfer them from their current formats into a digital format for permanent storage.

In November 2013, Bruce Balentine orchestrated a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to help fund a portion of the important work of preserving the Hip Pocket Theatre's history. His Kickstarter project is meant for the preservation of the collaborative works between Johnny Simons and Douglas Balentine with the goal of establishing a Simons and Balentine website through which access to these materials will be granted. You can read more about this project at the
Simons and Balentine Kickstarter Page. There is also a very good article about the Kickstarter project in the FW Weekly, written by Jeff Prince (read it here).

A much larger and more comprehensive preservation project has been under way for the past 8 years headed by Robert Bourdage. This project is working to preserve the entire history of the Hip Pocket Theatre, including videos, photographs, audio recordings, playbills, newspaper articles, etc. A database has been developed for cataloguing each asset, assigning them an asset ID and tracking their location and status. It is hoped that this database, or one developed from it, will eventually be made accessible through a website so that anyone can perform keyword searches and access images, video clips, etc. from this amazing body of work.

On this page, we'll try to keep you up-to-date on the status of our efforts pertaining to historical videos of the past. As we go through the collection and get it organized, we'll let you know which videos we've found and which have been digitized and preserved.

We may find that some shows are missing from our collection...and that's where you may be able to help. Some plays, we may find, were never filmed and so are lost forever, some plays you may have a VCR tape of in your own collection. Once we know what we have, we will put out the plea for you to check your own collection to see if you can help us fill in the gaps in our collection.

Beyond the videos, we know many of you have taken your own photographs while at the theatre, capturing events in the backyard including bands, parties, old cast members, group photos of show casts, etc. We hope to be able to incorporate many of these into our database and collection. Please let us know if you have photographs, videos, old playbills, etc. that we can borrow, duplicate and then return to you.

This is a massive project and financial support is needed to keep it going. In particular, we need to purchase massive amounts of storage to hold all of this digital material. We currently have over 12 TB of video digitized and hundreds of DVD's holding the raw digital footage for just the years 2005 - 2013. To this we are adding many more terabytes of data as we digitize the videos to DVD for initial storage.

Thank you for your support over the past 38 years and for your support of this important project. Please remember that the Hip Pocket Theatre is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Charity so any financial donations made to the theatre to support this project are tax deductible.