For the parents, the siblings and all the extended family who donated to the Kickstarter or the Raffle or the Silent Auction or all of the above. For booking the plane ticket to make it on opening weekend (or closing) and then taking the cast out for dinner. For spotting the gas/grocery/internet bill money during our undergrad…or graduate degrees…or even now because the day-job doesn’t always cut it.
For the friend, the spouse, the co-worker, the lady who cuts hair and the guy who works the 7-11 graveyard shift every Saturday night—those who ask how the audition went, how the show is going, when is it happening and then buying a ticket and actually showing up. And bringing a friend.
For the casts and crews, the directors and playwrights, the designers, the accidental administrators and tireless fundraisers, and all those people who magically make things like programs and marketing and tearful death scenes and straight hemlines happen without being asked a second time if they are ever asked at all. Who use vacation time and sick days to fix a scene or a set or a script.
For the theater owners and coordinators, the stage managers, producers and publicists, the carpenters, electricians and TDs who work magic with resources and spaces and numbers. Who eke out a living while hanging on to a space and craft and don’t lose their minds scheduling 12 actors and 2 understudies for rehearsals and a 4 – week run 3 days a week with the possibility of extending if the planets align and all goes well.
For those who stay up all night to write and blog and create email blasts for audiences and fundraisers or connect with that one donor who gave the big gift that saved the show/the company/the theater. Who make it to the post office in time to get the postmark for the grant application or the insurance payment so there isn’t an annoying late fee. For Board Members who don’t just show up for meetings and parties but also when it’s needed most.
For those who get paid little to nothing for getting the word out and spewing an opinion or praising so something won’t be missed by those who need to see it (and throwing a small fit when they do). For keeping the dialogue alive and going out for a beer after to talk about the script because of genuine curiosity and care.
For those who take the time to create awards and weekly accolades and top ten lists and reasons why. And those who don’t even read reviews and will keep going no matter what they win or don’t get recognized for.
For those who create the thing on stage someone told them couldn’t be done. Or shouldn’t be done. Or should be done better by someone else and go get a real job while you still can.
For those who dared to start over doing something they really love for a change because you only live once but you get to die in a sword fight every night when you play Hamlet.
For those who understand that theater doesn’t belong to a select group of artists with the right training, proper background or financial resources but to anyone who dares to walk the high wire and take some risks discovering who they are and what questions they still have for the world.
For all of you, every last one of you…
Audiences to artists…intellectuals to instigators…donors to doers…newbies in the fold to the beautifully nuanced…
Thank You for creating our Los Angeles Theater.
About the Author: Amy Tofte is a writer/director who worked way too hard for her SAG card that she stubbornly hangs on to. She has her MFA from CalArts (Writing for Performance) and has seen her work produced all over the country and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She is a founding member of Fierce Backbone in Los Angeles (a theater dedicated to all levels of play development) and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America. Visit Amy at http://amytofte.com