April 7, 2020
Hello Town Theatre families, patrons, members ticket purchasers, volunteers and more!
It has been three weeks since we all had an abrupt change of pace. At the time, we had more questions than answers and while we still have some questions, we do have a little more clarity on how we will proceed. We also thought you might have an interest in reading about what we have been doing to keep things going as best we can.
The shows MUST go on!
We are very excited to let you know that we do intend to complete our 101st season including our run of Mary Poppins and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. When? Well, that is the million-dollar question it seems. But, once we can be together again safely, we will determine dates for these performances and will communicate with you about ticketing times. If you had already made reservations for Mary Poppins, you will have the first opportunity to re-reserve your tickets for our new slate of performance dates. Once an appropriate amount of time has passed, we will open ticketing for others. We appreciate your patience as we must wait until that time to communicate about ticketing.
In the interim, our casts have been making lemonade out of lemons. Check out the coverage of our Poppins Car Parade which was held at the end of March. We had a fantastic day as you can see from these photos. What a great time to come together (safely) and share the good with our community.
Our youth theatre classes were running full speed ahead when we were interrupted. Weekly classes for Mary Poppins Jr., Give and Take as well as Guys & Dolls Jr. came to an immediate halt. However, just as with our main stage shows, we are committed to holding these productions. Once dates and times are known, we will communicate with you about ticketing.
During this time of being at home, our youth theatre students have remained engaged. We have held rehearsals for small groups on Zoom and have provided weekly activities for our students including costume design challenges, dialect exercises and even props building activities. Members of our Town Teen Troupe created a COVID Containment Entertainment concert series which you can view on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned as we hope to share more while we go through this process together.
We do intend to host camps once again this summer! We are holding off on enrollment until we have more confidence on what the end of the school year looks like for our students. Our list of camps as originally planned can be seen here. We are also considering several options with adjustable dates and will share those at the appropriate time. And we are developing a “May Minis” Series of lessons and classes that we will roll out when needed.
Town Theatre Staff
Town staff has committed to using this down time to grow. We’re working on some of those projects that have been on our “to do” lists. Technical Director Danny Harrington has created a fun demonstration on how to create a stage model for set design. Check it out! He is also working on set designs for the 102nd season so that we can “make up for lost time” once the quarantine is over. Assistant Technical Director Corey Langley was able to spend some time reorganizing areas of the theatre and our warehouse. He is also currently creating a scenic painting series to share with our students. Youth Theatre Director Megan Douthitt has become well versed in shifting in-person rehearsals and classes to online opportunities. Executive Director Shannon Scruggs has been exploring the ever-changing opportunities for funding in a time of little revenue as well as working with staff, licensing companies, casts and youth theatre families to keep the wheels on the bus turning.
What Can You Do Now?
Many of you have reached out asking how you might help. We would truly appreciate your continued support of our theatre during this challenging time. One easy way to do that is to purchase your 102nd Season Membership at the early bird rate. You can do that online here.
Once we have ticketing dates for the rest of our current season and all our youth theatre shows, be sure to get your ticket and bring a friend. Live theatre can and will be such a great part of our restoration process.
If you are able and so inclined, we would appreciate your support as a donor. We were so very fortunate to renovate two of the three areas of our theatre before this crisis hit AND we did so without adding any debt. If you still have a portion of your pledge outstanding, are you able to make an early or an extra payment? Or, if you never got around to joining us as a donor and the time is right for you, we would welcome your support. You can mail your check to the theatre or make a gift online at this link. We do plan to participate in the community-wide Midlands Gives on May 5 with our popular “Give Town a Twenty” campaign.
We hope that you and your family are safe and well. Though this was certainly not a part of our plan, we will make the very best of it and, more than ever, are excited to see you at the theatre as soon as we possibly can. In the interim, if you have questions, please reach out to Shannon Scruggs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until the next curtain call,
Mary Lynn Barnette
Shannon Willis Scruggs