In the early months of 2021, like so many of us, I was taking a good hard look at my life and contemplating what I wanted next.
I was very seriously reconsidering my career in the theater. Did I want to become a florist as I had always thought I would when I was a little girl? (Even though I find it very difficult to keep a plant alive…) Did I want to spend more energy on writing? (I did finish a third draft of my Young Adult novel that I’m writing. That an agent wants me to rewrite in the first person. But that’s for another letter.)
And then, in April of 2021, my dear friend, Tom Frey, sent me a simple e-mail. The subject line said, “Hello! And a Question.” In the body of the email Tom wrote, “I have a project I wonder if you’d be interested in directing.” And everything shifted into focus.
Many of you may not know me, as I am relatively new to the Players. Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ilyse Robbins. I directed and choreographed Beehive: The 60’s Musical on the beautiful new outdoor Elsewhere Stage last season during the Grand Restart. This season I had the honor of choreographing Cabaret alongside that friend of mine Tom Frey and the fantastic music director, Jenny Kim-Godfrey. I also directed the Second Company in The Emperor’s New Clothes with young artists who are the future of theater - and it has been an honor to work with them.
As John Jacobs, founder of the Life is Good company says, I don’t have to go to work - I get to go to work. That’s what Peterborough Players has done for me at a critical time in my life/career.
When Beth Brown asked me to write this letter my first thought was, “Why me? The Players family, outside of the rehearsal room, barely knows me.” Then I remembered Beth greeting me the first time I reentered the building this season, “Welcome home.”
I realized that in a very short time, this place truly has become home to me, that we
are all part of the same family, and we all care so much about this place and the incredible
theater it produces each season. And that we all want this home to return to each season.
So here it is - my request that you can only make of family. If you are able, won’t
you please make a donation to the Peterborough Players now?
There are so many good causes out there, I know. I hope that you consider the
Players one of them. It is a place that gives so much. The Peterborough Players nurtures
young artists; it gives the gift of joyful, thought-provoking, and important stories to its
audiences; and it breathes new life into theater-makers who thought they had nothing
left to share.
I hope to meet you in the lobby or on the grass by Elsewhere Stage!
With sincere gratitude,
PS – I just had the great good pleasure of working with Matt McGloin as the Emcee in
our production of Cabaret. If you saw it - you already know. If you didn’t (and if you did)
- don’t miss him in 2 Pianos 4 Hands coming up August 4 – 14. You’ll be able to say you
saw him when!