Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Thinking about things

This past weekend marked the official close of the Fall-Winter-Spring season at Grinder, and the official beginning of summer programming. Though summer preparations have been underway for some time now they will now begin in earnest, and we'll embark on a whirlwind journey that won't ease up until Labour Day.

I've had a lot to think about the past winter, both onstage and off. I've thought about how to keep the company going through the winter. I've thought about how to find ever more actors for ever more shows. I've thought about the great shows and the not so great shows, the great audiences and the not so great audiences. I've thought long and hard about our company's survival through this persistent econcomic downturn, and about the things we can do now to make sure that we're in the best possible position to make the most of the recovery.

So yes, I've thought about a lot of things. But what struck me this morning as I groggily fumbled my way to the computer after a fitful night's slumber (owing to an aching back brought on by lifting stuff for other people) was that what I haven't been thinking about are all the accomplishments that we've managed here at Grinder over the past few months.

To recap:
  • We have successfully produced Shakespeare
  • We've started a new touring division, Hopeless Romantics
  • We have managed to get through the winter season without losing too many shows
  • We have a re-invigorated website
  • Through Helium.com, our production experiences are helping to teach the world about how to create quality theatre on a limited budget
  • We have partnered with the other users of the Fergus Grand Theatre to apply for capital grants for the building, as well as advocate on behalf of the user groups to the township
  • We have collaborated with the Elora Community Theatre on their production of You're Lucky if You're Killed
  • We have substantially cleaned up the rehearsal and storage spaces (though there's more work still to be done)
  • We have begun "The Directors Circle," a loose grouping of artistic associates who will begin to take on more and more of the directing projects in the months ahead
  • We are in the process of hiring marketing and production personnell to help us with the summer season (maybe some more on that for you next week)
And many, many other things!

That doesn't include the pasta bowl, or any of the personal victories that I've had over the winter (and there have been a great many).

Obviously, challenges remain, and they are substantial. We STILL need actors and stage managers for this summer, so I URGE anyone who's interested to contact me immediately. We desperately need to put some bums in seats, as well as sell our season pass, The Grinder Card, to as many of our regular patrons as we possibly can.

But in the final analysis this company embarks on its 2009 summer season leaps and bounds from where it was in 2008, with more momentum, members and creative muscle than ever before. I still say our best days are yet to come, but perhaps they're getting closer than I or anyone else might think.

See you at the theatre, if I'm not lost in thought.

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