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A Letter From Your President

Dear Extended Guild Family,

It has been three weeks since we have shuttered our incredible production of Jesus Christ Superstar. I do want to thank those who attended our Friends & Family performance on Monday evening, our opening night on Wednesday, as well as Thursday that first week. I apologize for the rough times we had those first 3 performances due to major sound issues. We were very fortunate, through your continued generosity, to have been able to purchase all new wireless body microphones for our entire cast of twenty-one, only to have them arrive the afternoon of Friends & Family! We never had time to fire them up, hold a sound check with the cast, or rehearse with them. Circumstances forced us to go out there on Monday night with only a wing and a prayer; and in my opinion, we failed in the sound department miserably.

With a cast of twenty-one on a revolving stage of various levels, it took our cast and crew two more days and nights to actually fine tune the show to get a great balance for those in the front rows as well as those in the back of the auditorium and for our cast on stage. Through perseverance, by Friday night the entire production was spot-on, as was Saturday’s and Sunday’s matinees. The standing ovations and congratulatory comments we received that weekend from our patrons in person or via texts, emails and phone calls surely indicated we had a solid hit on our hands and the next two weeks were going to be smooth sailing!

Then the reality of a relatively unknown virus began to rear its ugly head and the storm clouds were gathering. It started the night after opening when I informed our cast that we would suspend the meet and greet line after all future shows out on the patio. We had already begun to practice safe social distancing, knowing that we couldn’t afford to have a single performer in this massive project get sick. It’s always a hold-your-breath kind of situation for three weeks when presenting a mega musical such as Superstar in a community theatre production where there just isn’t the luxury of having major roles understudied. By the end of the first weekend, we realized that it wasn’t just the cast we had to be concerned with; it was you too, our devoted and faithful followers who always continue to support us. We were concerned for your safety and well-being too. And then by Sunday evening, the storm let loose! The show would have to be postponed indefinitely until we were told we could once again gather in groups large enough to fill our theatre! By Monday morning, the cast, crew, staff and volunteers all knew the uncertainty of the show re-opening had knocked the wind out of our sails. We had embarked on the ship of ambition, but would we ever get to anchor in the harbor of success? When asked, the entire cast and production crew exhibited their solidarity with a shout “The show must go on!” And it will; just not now.

We had hoped to reopen next month; however it appears we are going to be experiencing the worst of the coronavirus during these next two weeks. Re-opening in May seems unrealistic to all of us now. However, we are optimistic that we will be able to remount JCS in July at the latest and we all look forward to seeing you back in our theatre for this tremendous production. Our staff has continued coming in to work, in shifts throughout the day so that not more than one person has been allowed in the building at one time and our various teams and committees have continued to meet using our electronic devices with the new technology of Zoom. Our Board of Directors will continue hammering out every possible scenario over Zoom so that we are ready to be up and running the moment the word has been given that the coast is clear and those twenty-one extremely talented local artists will once again be on board bringing you the legendary musical that will send your spirits soaring.

During this time that we have been shuttered, like all non-profit arts organizations, we can use your help! Please continue to support us by purchasing your 2020-21 Season Subscriptions now. As always, the Theatre Guild is offering substantial savings on 6, 5 and 4 show packages. So if you haven’t already, please renew your subscriptions now and if you haven’t been a subscriber in the past, please consider becoming one. Now is when we want to feel your love and know that with your financial support through purchasing season subscriptions, we’ll know you’ll be there when we re-open our doors with Jesus Christ Superstar followed by seven mainstage productions as well as our month long April 2021 Theatre Festival that will include three Apron Series Productions, lectures, guest speakers as well as classes and workshops. So please consider becoming a member of the Theatre Guild family for our 2020-21 Season!

Thank you in advance for your support!

With gratitude,

Jon Putzke


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