For fun, a program letter

Just for fun, and because I’m asked about the process of  “Season Selection” often, here’s the program letter I wrote for our current production of Murder For Two (which, by the way, is selling like HOTCAKES! – if you think of hotcakes as something that sell a lot, quickly.)

In the inside cover of the playbill for each show, one of us writes a “letter” to the patrons, just a “Thanks for being here” or an update on the season, or an “state of the union” about the theatre itself, that kind of thing.  This time I just had fun with the topic of Season Selection.  Here it is!

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Williamston Theatre, and our production of Murder For Two.  I am SO pleased that you’re here for this wonderful show! 

I’m often stopped by members of our delightful audiences, people we consider to be part of the WT family, who want to share their thoughts on the plays we choose.  I have to say, I love those conversations.  Some folks enjoy everything, some folks will say “This was the best one! I sure needed that laugh, do more of these!” and then in the next minute I’ll have a patron say “This was fun but, boy, 1984 was better –those hard-hitting dramas that make us think are my favorite!” 

Getting so much interaction and response from people is one of my favorite parts of this job.  If the audience didn’t come, wasn’t invested, there’d be no reason for us to keep going – it’s the connection between audience and artist, between storyteller and participating receiver, that makes the theatre vital and alive.  This isn’t a video on a screen – it’s a live connection, and that’s so important!  

There’s another reason I love talking with our patrons though – and that’s the VARIETY of comments I get.  The diversity of likes and passions that all of you share with us is inspiring.  That’s why we work to keep a variety in our selection of plays for each season.   Put on a hard-hitting literary adaptation of a dystopian future? Sure.  Then follow that with a gentle, thoughtful story about a professor and a student each at a crossroad in life?  Yep.  End with an incredibly fun, funny, energetic musical that will make people laugh and shake their heads in amazement as one woman bounces back and forth between a dozen characters?  You better believe that’s the kind of season I like!  Why? Because LIFE is like that.  It changes.  It’s never all the same thing.  There’s always something new happening, some new challenge, some new lesson, and some new way for us to deal with it all. 

A good theatre season… it’s like a good meal – not every course is the same.  You get your main course, vegetables, soups, and your desserts.  Each has their own flavor, and it’s the combination of the flavors that make it work.  An evening of just main courses?  Too heavy.  An evening of just desserts?  You’re done after two (well… let’s be honest…. maybe three!) 

So – here we are, at the end of Season Eleven.  We’ve officially arrived at Dessert.  I truly hope you enjoy this fun, funny, toe-tapping piece.  I hope you leave here laughing, in a wonderful mood, and ready to face the world with a smile. 

Lastly – I hope you join us for next season!  We’re cookin’ up a 6-course meal that’ll knock your socks off. 

Thanks for being a part of the family.

-Tony

PS – If you see one of us in the lobby – don’t forget to tell us what you think!  

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