It’s about that time of the year when the board of the theatre will be making final decisions on the coming season. Our show season runs from Summer to Spring of the next year. So far this season, we opened this summer with The Fabulous Fifties, then went on to Fall’s Jekyll and Hyde. The Christmas show, It’s a Wonderful Life isn’t technically part of the season. Winter will be And Then There Were None followed by Big Fish in the Spring. This is all locked and set. In order to get our programs and patron information ready to start at the beginning of the calendar year, the board usually votes on the season in November with a follow up in December should there be any issues filling spots.
Now I won’t go into what may be coming down the line, other than to say it’s a lot of musicals and music reviews. There is no Christmas show on the books, but it’s not necessary to fill the season. The board has created a proposal committee to look at proposals before they are presented to the board and voted on. The goal is to help shows that may have issues or aren’t a good fit for the time. My wife and I are new additions to this committee. I used to be on the board of directors. Some outside commitments kept us from making meetings and we relinquished out seat (my wife and I would share a vote). It isn’t a prerequisite to be a board member to be on a committee like this and so we jumped at the chance.
There seems to be a little conflict at the moment in show selection. Part of it is that there are a limited number of directors at the moment who bring shows, so it can feel like it’s the same people time and time again, but until some more people step up, that’s how it will have to be. In addition, the board is very focused on what shows will be profitable. We of course want them all to do well, but some good stuff has been turned down because it is felt like it wouldn’t make enough money. The board has looked at shows at a show by show basis. I think this is flawed thinking. We need to look at each season as a season – a sum of all its parts. We need to maintain a balance of musicals vs. plays. Comedies vs. dramas. Classic vs. contemporary. Our usual group of patrons that have supported us won’t be around forever and we need to continue to grow out support base. One of the biggest compliments that Jekyll and Hyde got was that it was different. Everyone really enjoyed it. I hope we can ride this idea into the years to come.
Now, I said all that to say this: I think I found a show to do. In looking for a show to do in our black box theatre (which is separate from the main stage season) I found another show that I was interested in doing: Shakespeare in Love. In what could be argued as a weak spot in the Fall season coming up, it may be a good fit, and it just so happens that more copies of the script became available for order yesterday, which I did. Our committee meeting is Wednesday and I should get the script in before then. I can read it and put together a proposal to make it in time. I kind of found this by accident, but you know how that goes sometimes. We shall see. I got the notification that my scripts have been sent so I hope to get them maybe tomorrow.
To think that six months ago I would have hung up doing anything at the theatre again and now I’m vying to get a show set up as a proposal for the next year’s season is surreal. It’s nice to come back to something I once loved.
I’ll let you know how it goes.