Well, we have reached that magical day: End Of Season. Today is the day we say goodbye to the work (and workers) who put together our 2013-2014 season. This is a hard day to qualify and explain, because it’s not like we haven’t been working on next season already (we have) and it’s not like everything from this season is put to bed yet (it’s not). But this is the day in the calendar and on people’s contracts that calls it the last day for seasonal staff. Seems like a good time to reflect to me. We will still show up on Monday, mostly looking ahead, and we will continue to fight the good fight. We will continue to make sure that we are making the best theatre we can.
But today, I am gonna look back at this year’s fights, this year’s battles, and yes, definitely this year’s victories.
Usually these blogs serve as a space for personal rather than institutional reflection. However, it seems reasonable that today will be a combination of both.
So, yeah. Best season ever. No, really. Broke the most tickets sold in a day record. Broke the most money earned in a day record. Broke the single show sales record. Broke the overall ticket sales record. We had our biggest cast ever. We had our first world premiere (thank you Suzanne Bradbeer). We had our first new works festival. We put on our first understudy. We had a visit from superstar playwright Ken Ludwig.
Not bad, huh?
But I want to make a point here, that for me it wasn’t just these high points that made it the best season. It was the struggle. It was the work. It was the pulling together of our staff, casts, and crews in moments of adversity that really made this the best season.
Making theatre, making art is not easy. I once worked with an actor who when he saw a painting or sculpture (or really any piece of art, including theatre, I assume) that he didn’t like, he would sigh and say, “Art is hard.” And boy, is he right. Every little decision, every little piece that goes into making a collaborative piece can throw it off course. Lotta moving parts in making a play. Mistakes will be made. And they were. But we handled them. We pulled together and figured out how to make the show go on. And we here in the office, we here at this wonderful up-and-coming, yes-we-can theatre, we were all so proud of everything that happened on that stage this year. And that is saying something.
For the moment, I am going to stop speaking for everyone, and dedicate a little time to speak for myself. This was a hard season. A grand, daring, exhausting, rewarding, crazy awesome-town of a season. I did my first one person show. Jeez. That was something. I have done a lot of hard things on stage during my career, but none of them compare to the total madness, the absolute focus and skill, the physical/vocal stamina, and the emotional…
Sorry, had to pause for a moment. I was suddenly bombarded by my coworkers, who were carrying a dozen cupcakes and singing happy birthday. Sunday is my birthday. Best season ever! But meanwhile, back in the jungle…
…the emotional stamina it took. Yeah. It was hard. But let me tell you, it was worth it. I am so proud of the work that I did in that show. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is analogous to the whole season. The hard work is so worth it.
So yeah, with lots of sweet, funny, hard, wonderful, complex, painful, joyous memories, I am going to bid goodbye to this best of seasons. We did it. And we are going to do it again. Next year is going to be even better. Bring it on!