Submitted by Heather Hinds and James Venturni Co Managing Artistic Directors.
We are grateful for so much about 2020. Mostly, we are grateful for you.
This year has been a unique one in so many ways. Our community has faced challenges and hardships and continues to struggle and overcome. Instead of focusing on what this year was supposed to be like, we’d like to share with you what we are grateful for this year.
January – February
We are grateful that our first show in 2020 was Heathers: The Musical with lyrics and book by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy. It was a record-breaking show for Lakewood Playhouse that surpassed estimated earnings and everyone involved with it should be very proud for the production that hit the stage running and took the audience along for the ride. Which is a great place to thank our adventurous, supportive, and generous audiences and Season Ticket and Flex Pass holders.
We are grateful to the one hundred plus people who came to see the final Sunday Matinee of Lakewood Playhouse’s presentation of The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, filling the theatre in support of the actors onstage, as well as the director, designers, and crew that made that show possible. The Wolves was forced to close a week early due to the COVID-19 state shutdown and the overwhelming support of the audience was heartwarming and completely predictable of the community we are grateful to be a part of.
April – September
Since that time, the theatre has stood closed and the stage dark for much of the year.
- The April production of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Nile continued with online rehearsals until it was evident that the show would not open in the Spring or Summer, so it was canceled. It was not what anyone wanted, but the cast, director, stage manager, and production team were amazing and resilient and we look forward to working with all of them in the future on other productions.
- Closing show Ragtime, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and a book by Terrence McNally was moved to October 2020, and now that we are entering the holiday season still shutdown, it is our hope that it will be the closing show of our current (82nd) season, opening May 28th, 2021. It is currently the only in-person show on our schedule as we wait for the state shutdown and the science to allow us a way forward. Stay tuned!
- Our offsite storage space received an extreme makeover donated by one of our volunteer build team (with some help!) during the Summer months. It is something we didn’t know we needed until we got it and now we can’t believe how much better it looks.
- Our Summer LIT students, instructors, and staff forged ahead into a new medium and class style, showing us the way to get mainstage performances and recorded productions online.
- Our theatre floor was painted back to black. A fresh base coat, ready for whatever production comes next.
- We launched our Save the Lakewood Playhouse campaign when it looked like we would not reach December 2020. The response was generous, not only in donations, but in personal messages, notes, letters, and calls to our staff and to the Lakewood Playhouse. Thank you.
October – November
We are grateful that we can continue to promote online theatre education classes and produce online content. This fall we aired the 6-episode radio series Space Cook by CP Stancich with a cast full of volunteer local actors and An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe by Bryan Willis and performed by the esteemed Tim Hoban as Mr. Poe.
This holiday season we will present a streamed Radio Show / Virtual version of the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Please consider the minimum donation of $10 to gain a Virtual ticket to this wonderful story done in a unique way.
That’s what we are grateful for this year. There’s time left to add some more.
Without in-person events, the theatre stands empty, but the ghost light shines on. We miss our audiences and artists terribly during this intermission, but we hope to welcome you back to the Lakewood Playhouse soon and are ready and waiting for the go-ahead to reopen.
We are grateful for our community and the support that has allowed us to continue even during shutdown.
We know that we are lucky to still be here. We are grateful to still be here.
Happy belated Thanksgiving and we wish you a warm, safe holiday season.