See Older Posts...
A Note from the Co-Artistic Directors
Mon, Jun 21 2010 09:24
| General Stuff
We’re in the business of creating illusions. Audiences enter a theatre and allow themselves to suspend their disbelief about the stories unfolding before them. For two hours in the dark, they believe the things they see are real – and usually (and hopefully) are blissfully unaware of what goes on behind the scenes: a panicked dash to complete a quick-change to be on time for an entrance, an emergency repair of a broken prop, a heart-pumping improvisation by actors and stage management when lines are jumped that rewrite a scene. If the audience never suspects the high-wire act going on backstage, the show is a success.
At Running to Places, we take pride in the caliber of our productions and the team we assemble to bring them to life. As a still-new theatre company we’ve also taken pride in our ability to play the part of an established entity on the local theatre scene. We’ve thrilled in hearing Jerry Dietz mention our name in radio commercials alongside the Kitchen and Hangar as theatres his company CSP Management supports. People have told us that it seems like we’ve always been around and that R2P is so established in young people’s lives it will continue “forever.”
This last point is the tricky one.
We think it’s possible we’ve done too good a job creating the illusion of an established company. It’s quite the compliment when people are surprised to learn how much of an illusion our act-togetheriness is. For example, did you know that for this entire season, our sets have been built almost exclusively in the Steinhagen’s backyard, often in cold, wet conditions? (Fun fact: paint will not stick to sets below 40 degrees. We know this firsthand.) Did you know that we don’t own a single power tool? We rely on the generosity of our hired production team to provide their own, resulting in wear and tear on their personal tools. Did you know that members of the R2P leadership regularly defer two-thirds or more of their salary when necessary to pay the bills?
This kind of thing makes for charming theatre stories and is fine for a one-shot deal, a single production, a hobby. But if Running to Places is to remain a healthy, sustainable fixture in our community, things must change.
So what needs to change? First order of business is to have a scene/paint/costumes shop. We’re still committed to “running to places” throughout the community for rehearsals and performances, but having a home for certain logistical elements is key. We’ve already begun to address that with our “temporary R2PHQ” at the former Danby Market which we are renting for the summer. We need to address this need properly and long-term.
Secondly, we need to create a balanced budget—mostly through fundraising. We take great pride in operating as a professional company. We pay our designers and directors for their skill and work; we produce shows with fully realized scenic and costume designs and support them with lights and sound. We run an extremely tight ship, but we simply cannot continue producing shows without addressing our fiscal needs.
It breaks our hearts to think of people saying, “Do you remember those few years R2P was around?” If you feel the same, we need your help.
So, what can you do? You’re here. You’re reading this. That’s a wonderful start. You can make a donation via PayPal on our website. You can donate every time you shop online via GoodSearch.com. You can attend or participate in our upcoming fundraisers which you will be hearing much more about in the coming months. You can spread the word that we need support in order to survive.
Thanks for taking this peek behind the curtain. Will you join us?
Best wishes, Gail and Joey