From the Director's Chair: Sharing Gratitude

I have been spending a lot of time over the past couple of weeks feeling intensely grateful. I feel thankful for the brave workers who are out in the community protecting us all, I feel grateful to members of our community who are fighting hard for their survival and providing critical services. I am grateful for my family and friends who are providing love and support and coming up with unique ways for us all to stay connected.

For me this “family” is more than my personal relations. Now, more than ever, I feel such intense gratitude for my First Stage family! I am amazed by the creativity and fortitude of the First Stage staff who everyday are finding more ways to ensure that our young people stay connected and continue to take our mission of “transforming lives through theater” down new and untested paths, but always with the goal of our students and families knowing we care and want to be a resource.

This was never more evident to me than this past weekend, when our Young Company was scheduled to participate in the 10th annual Bard-o-thon! Instead of gathering in person at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center to share hundreds of Shakespearean monologues and sonnets (more than 400!), the day was spent “zooming” those pieces in front of our judges and teachers! Everyone was scattered in their own homes, yet everyone was united by the power of these words that have spanned hundreds of years, and end up here – in 2020, in one of the strangest periods of history – being shared in ways I am certain the Bard himself could never have imagined. Young Company students were later joined by Young Company alum spread across the country for a sharing of the best of these monologues and then an alumni “Sonnetpalooza”.

Not only did the work continue to inspire and connect, but our community also came out to support this work, with the YC students raising more than $15,000 to support their fellow students and the study of Shakespeare at First Stage. And these were not large gifts – there were more than 245 donors who contributed to this effort and showed their support of our young people and their dreams.

This is what the First Stage family does. They support our young people and their dreams and aspirations and their hard work, even more in a time when it might seem impossible to dream and hope. There is nothing I can be more grateful for than that.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.