Hello Theatre Lovers
It’s the end of Week #13 of
Working From Home
and you may have noticed I have been off the grid the past couple of weeks. The truth is I have been thinking about what I could possibly say during this time in our world. Personally, I think I am known to be a very positive person, and that makes me happy, but during this time it has been very difficult to feel happy or positive. We have been faced with the pandemic, forced to isolate, and now we must think deeply about our past and our future. After much contemplation I have been thinking about what I said at the beginning of the pandemic. That was that although it was a tough time that we really must look for the “gifts”. These are opportunities or lessons that we now have been given the time to notice.
The death of George Floyd and the many before him, could never be thought of as gifts, but this time in our world has made us stop and think. It has made us listen and reflect. As a theatre company, and as a part of the greater theatre and arts community, we must take a deep look at what we have been doing and what we can do better. As Executive Director for Theatre Collingwood I would like to make a promise to better educate myself about systemic racism and the history of black people, and to challenge the companies we work with to offer productions that show a broader picture of the human experience. Theatre is all about telling the stories…..ALL the stories. We must provide greater opportunities to black artists and theatre creators to tell these stories. We must make theatre accessible and a reflection of ALL people. We must enable all audience members to feel reflected on the stage, on our Board, and in our staffing.
This is a challenging time for everyone, but today I speak to you about Theatre Collingwood. In addition to looking at our programming for the future and where Theatre Collingwood will actually be housed, we have to look at the ability for Theatre Collingwood to survive the effects of the pandemic and inability to present our shows at this time.
With the implementation of Stage 2 in our region many businesses can now open, but the very nature of theatres to gather people together is what disables us from doing this. It is my hope that in the not too distant future we may be able to do some productions. Certainly this can happen in Stage 3. These productions would be modified to include safety measures so that you, our supporters, can feel comfortable in your experience. Such measures would include hand washing stations, direct entry to the theatre space with no waiting in a lobby, shorter shows with no intermissions, masks worn, social distancing with reserved seating, washroom attendants and cleaning after each use, and more. We will continue to keep you informed as we develop this program.
Financially this is a very difficult time for theatre companies. I will try to clearly explain the predicament. People have paid for tickets and subscriptions in advance. Although our expenses are lower now, we still have many business expenses. We have no income coming in at this point. The bottom line is if everyone were to ask for a refund we would have no money and would have to close the office and business.
Theatre Collingwood has provided entertainment for the community for 36 years and we want to continue to provide for you the best of entertainment. Now, more than ever, we really need your support. PLEASE consider the following option: If you have purchased tickets allow us to keep those ticket dollars in your Theatre Collingwood account. Please do not ask for a refund. That ticket credit can be used for any 2020 shows that we are able to provide. If you have any credit in your account at the end of 2020 please let us transfer that to a donation which you will receive a full tax receipt for. This will truly make the difference for our company’s survival. Those who agree to do this will receive a discount on tickets next year. AND if you are able to make a greater donation this year please call the office to do so.
For sponsors and advertisers, we will continue to promote your businesses through our social media, brochure, website, newsletters, virtual fund raisers, and at any shows we are able to provide this year. The community will be made aware of your dedication and support of the arts.