Happy Shakespeare’s birthday!
I directed the first Shakespeare in Newnan, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in 1978. I directed the last, The Taming of the Shrew, in 1999.
I say “last,” but that’s just a bitter, depressed guess: the Newnan Theatre Company has been served eviction papers from the building, they haven’t paid the rent in over a year, and the board has voted to vacate. My understanding is that they intend to go on, somehow, but I know no details.
This has disturbed me a lot more than I thought it would, and more than I think it should. I guess I have enough vanity to be disappointed that something I spent nearly 30 years of my life building should come unravelled within five years of my leaving it, and leaving it on sound footing, I might add.
We had money in the bank, full houses, and a growing subscribers list. We had a Main Stage season, the Second Season, and the children’s season, and a teen season. We performed more than 40 weekends out of the year. There simply were no more weekends in the year to squeeze in another show.
We did Shakespeare. We did musicals. We encouraged new works. We experimented with new forms and approaches. We built our costumes and sets. We designed our costumes and sets. We trained people in all the crafts of theatre. We did theatre, not put on plays.
Ah well, easy come, easy go. I may have more to say later, over at lichtenbergian.org.