So we just closed our third season at the Williamston Theatre.
The fact that we’ve closed season 3, and are deep into prep for season 4 is wonderful and amazing and fulfilling in all sorts of ways.
I’ve wanted to journal on this for a few days now – and I’m sure more thoughts will come later – but the last week has been so full that when I get home at night, I want to sleep! Unfortunately that means less journaling time for me, and I’m missing it.
But the last week, and today especially, have me thinking and reflecting.
Today we had auditions for the final show of next season. We’ve almost cast the whole year, we have a couple more roles to go.
In addition, today was a day of dealing with a bunch of things that made life… good. Some of the best: building renovations (our new bathrooms are coming along nicely!), working on scheduling and some details for the first couple shows of the year, spent some quality time with the rest of the staff and some other members of the WT family, and sat in the theatre for a while just soaking in all the activity going on in our little space: in the back were some construction guys working on our new “restroom suite” and the new booth entrance. In the theatre was the musical director for next summer’s show running actors through their paces on a song, while in the lobby was the director of that show walking some actors through basic dance moves. Familiar faces were mingling with newcomers to our building, and all day long there was the electric buzz of “good-stuff-happening” humming through the building. The building that’s become our home over the last 3 years. We’re continuing to build and grow this company – but it feels like there’s such a solid base now… a solid core of work and people and quality and process and faith. I feel incredibly lucky to be doing what I’m doing: to be working with John and Chris and Emily, who breathe life into the company. To work with Erin and Stef and Rochelle and our crews and our directors and actors and designers and writers and volunteers and board members and patrons – this family that we’ve created is growing, and although sometimes I look around and think “Wow! Where did all these PEOPLE come from?!”, I also look around and am reminded that each day doing what we do is a huge privilege, and doing it with people of good character is a gift.
We were looking at the numbers for the season. Our audience has grown by 15% for each of the last two seasons. That means that over the last two years, our audience has grown by more than 30%. That’s an exciting, affirming, and inspiring number. We’re not where we can be yet… but we’re certainly a lot further along than we were when, a few years ago, we got the keys to an empty furniture store and asked each other “What next?!”.
So that was my Tuesday. It was a good day.
A quote that feels right for the moment:
Things to remember:
1) The worth of character;
2) The improvement of talent;
3) The influence of example;
4) The joy of origination;
5) The dignity of simplicity;
6) The success of perseverance.
Marshall Field (1834-1906)
(American department-store owner whose pioneering activities in retail merchandising were continued and extended into publishing by successive generations of his family.)