MOTHER’S VISION DRIVES VIDEO COMPANY PRODUCING WORLD-CLASS FAMILY THEATRE
March 21, 1998, San Francisco, California – Globalstage started when successful stock trader Libby Pratt was watching television with her 12-year-old son, Preston. "We saw a commercial for homemade soup in old-fashioned jars with large pieces of meat and vegetables," remembered Pratt, founder of Globalstage. "It was an idea I had when Preston was a few weeks old. I told Preston I had the same idea 10 years earlier, and he made me promise I would start a business the next time I had a great business idea."
The idea came a week later when Preston was reenacting a violent TV program he had seen. "I said I wished there were great family theatre he could watch instead, and Preston said, "Mom, there’s your idea!"
Preston and Libby searched all over the United States for the best family theatre to produce on videotape. A tip from a theatre director led them to an international children’s festival. "We discovered that there was great family theatre in English all over the world," said Pratt.
"That’s when we decided we would produce plays on a global basis. It’s hard enough for parents to get their children to great children’s theatre if they live outside a major city. But hardly anyone can take a trip to Scotland or The Netherlands to see a world-renowned children’s production."
Pratt knows about living a culturally deprived childhood. She was raised first on a farm in Ohio, then in an isolated rural town in Montana. My family was relatively well-off, but like many children from all backgrounds, I was culturally deprived," said Pratt.
As an adult with a small child, Pratt made her way from Montana to San Francisco where she became an options trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange. She also met her second husband, Craig Resnick, an options trader and member of the Pacific Stock Exchange Board of Directors. Together, Pratt and Resnick have financed and run Globalstage. "Right now, it’s like having two full-time jobs," said Pratt. "After the exchange closes, we rush to the Globalstage office to run the business and develop our upcoming productions."
Pratt and Resnick have sunk a good part of their savings into Globalstage. "I have never thought of Globalstage as a risky proposition, but more as an investment in quality entertainment that educates as it entertains," stated Pratt. "We do whatever it takes to capture every detail of a great live theatrical experience."
Sixth grader joins the family start-up business
Preston Blakeley, Libby’s 12-year-old, plays an active role in the family’s new business venture. He helps Pratt decide what plays to produce, and is co-host of the videos with public radio personality Elizabeth McNamer. "What Preston likes best about producing a play is what goes on behind the set," said Pratt. "He likes to work with the sound technician, checking for static and running errands."
Preston is a sixth-grader who studies Chinese, reads a lot and plays golf. Like the entire family, he likes to travel and looks forward to trips with his mother to select the world’s best family theatre. His favorite foreign country is Scotland, where Globalstage is filming two plays for this year.
Globalstage productions are available individually or as a series on its web site, www.globalstage.net, or by phone, 1-888-324-5623. The plays are also available in the Book of the Month Club and Barnes & Noble catalogues, and from a growing number of retail toy and entertainment stores across the country. Globalstage is also working with library systems all over the country to help children enjoy its productions through their local library.
For more information or to schedule an interview with Libby Pratt, please contact Kim Griffin, Jampole Communications, Inc., (412) 471-2463.