We come to you as we have over the past 29 years, to ask for your help as we reach the end of our fiscal year.
The impact of COVID-19 on our lives and our artistic community has been at times unfathomable. Health and safety restrictions have brought the limitations of our space to the forefront. Reduced capacity and physical distancing would allow for an audience and cast size of only 10 to 12 people. Surveys show that the majority of theater patrons won’t feel comfortable attending indoor performances for quite some time. For these reasons, and to help us sustain operations into the new year, we decided to eliminate in-theater presentations for a year, in favor of online offerings, and relinquished our theater space. The Studio’s office, however, has and will remain at its current location in the Tannery Marketplace.
Like many other visual and performing arts organizations, The Actors Studio of Newburyport has been retooling its offerings into virtual formats that entertain, educate, and enliven our various audiences. It has proved to be a wonderful way to extend our reach beyond our four walls and into homes around the region and across the country. We are deeply grateful to those who have found us online, sent notes of appreciation, and supported us with donations.
As we dismantled the theater last month, many rich memories came flooding in as we sorted through set pieces and props from innumerable productions that defied the limitations of our small physical space for almost three decades. These remnants are the physical evidence of us having once illuminated the space with rich and rewarding presentations that included all the arts - comedy, drama, dance, photography, visual arts, music, and poetry. Certainly, there are pangs of sadness at letting go of the familiar, an occasional tremor of fear as we face the unknown, but the predominant feeling is gratitude for the amazing opportunities this little theater space afforded all those who crossed its threshold. It is with this powerful sense of appreciation and accomplishment that we look forward to a year of discovering the opportunities of multi-media productions, and the promise of a new, larger home for live theater.
If you believe as I do, that the prolific creativity that has flowed through our lives in old familiar ways – will continue to flow as we adapt to our current circumstances, please consider making a year-end contribution. With your help, I know our 30th year will bring forth deeper, richer, and even greater inspiration than we can foresee. I am in awe of our artists’, audiences', and board members’ willingness and agility in adapting our art and our organization to the demands of the moment.
I salute you all and thank you for being the dauntless stalwarts you are.
Marc Clopton, Executive Director