Support the Theater Project

One of the finest theater companies anywhere is The Theater Project in Union County, New Jersey, and I'm not just saying that because my mother-in-law was one of its founding members.  They produce quality, professional productions, and I hope everyone makes an effort to catch one of their shows, especially as they face a challenging season having to look for a new space when their current play is over. 

I will likely attend next Saturday's performance of their latest show. Spread the word if you can and please come out to support them.

Here is a letter from Mark Spina, the company's founding artistic director.

Friends,
I sometimes think that I am psychic in my season selection.

2011 at The Theater Project was planned to begin with The African Company Presents Richard III, a true story about a theater company that loses its home; the summer show, Penny Pennyworth is a no-set trunk show that can be, providentially, performed almost anywhere; we were to end the season with On Borrowed Time.


The time was much more borrowed than we knew: The African Company will be our last show at Union County College. The new administration at UCC is quite clear that they have other plans for the space that do not include The Theater Project after the spring production closes.

We hope all of you who are reading this are very proud of the last sixteen and a half years. I can not possibly thank you enough for your dedication and the sharing of your time and talent with The Theater Project. I know I don't need to describe to you the feelings of the staff at this time, but I want to assure you that we also feel that this is a new beginning, and that our commitment to this work and our creative community is as strong as ever.

The timing of the decision has been difficult in that it comes immediately before we begin the season -- we are hopeful of finding other venues in Cranford to carry us through this transitional year. As we seek out other long-term solutions, I know many of you will have advice and suggestions. Bring them on!

I do have a specific request to make of everyone: please make plans to attend our final production at UCC, and bring as many family and friends as you possibly can. Familiar faces Gary Glor, Daaimah Tally and David Neal will be on stage, and the best gift you could give us as we enter a more challenging phase would be a sold-out run.


If we don’t build new audiences, who will?

I often worry that we are all so busy doing theater, that we are not taking the time to bring in new people, to fight the truly frightening trends of shrinking theater attendance. I am making this promise -- I will never never never never never use an Alliance comp again without dragging, kicking and screaming if necessary, some friend or foe who would otherwise be sitting in front of a television. Please look around you, think about what friends or colleagues or students or younger or older relatives you can bring to the theater -- any theater -- to educate them about the more complex satisfactions we all work so hard to offer.

Mark

For more information on The Theater Project, please visit http://www.thetheaterproject.org

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