Thank you for your support of the Players over the years. You make the Players possible. In these challenging times, we recognize that things other than theatre may be at the front of your mind.
I’m sitting safely alone in the empty house of the Players looking at the dark stage as I begin to write this, and I am struck by the fact that I’m not thinking about the productions we aren’t able to do this year (as painful as that is). I am thinking about dinner tables.
I’m thinking that this summer, when you would have been clearing up dinner to come to the Players, you may linger a little longer at your table instead. And perhaps, there will only be those sheltering with you at that table. What stories will you tell together then?
There is a table in Beth Brown’s dining room that was her mother’s, and her grandmother’s before that. When Sally Brown ran the theatre, it was where people would gather after performances to let off steam, tell stories, and “pour Scotch over wounded egos”. Often after everyone else left, former Artistic Director Charles Morey and Sally would sit and plot the future of the Players until late into the night. I have had the privilege to sit at that table, have dinner with fellow Peterborough Players, trade stories, and do a little good plotting ourselves.
That table hums with the energy of all the artists who ever gathered around it.
There is another dinner table at the Morison House, where Gus and Kraig have lived every summer for 24 years. Around it on opening nights we stand, eating and drinking and laughing, relieved that the barn has afforded us yet another Peterborough miracle. The play opened. We said most of the words. People applauded. No one got hurt.
That table will be silent this summer.
When I was a boy, it was my (loathsome) job to set the table. I come from a family of 7 children, so it took forever, it seemed, to my little brain. I would put it off in every way possible until my father would find me wherever I was in the house, come up behind me, and startle me with, “That table won’t set itself, chum”. (I could have sworn he was out mowing the lawn. I could have sworn I still heard the mower running. But that’s a different story.)
Our playhouse will come back, and we with it. The theatre will be a welcome escape, a destination for healing, and a place of inclusion. Historically, theatres that are able to survive difficult times often come back stronger.
But only if we can keep the table set, and that table will not set itself.
Your donation to the Annual Fund at this critical time when we have no revenue will make that possible. It will help us keep the lights on and allow us to use this forced intermission to re-examine and reimagine what your Peterborough Players will be for the next generation. If we can do this together, the season Gus and Keith put together for us next will be a feast we will never forget.
In the meantime, we miss you. Perhaps some evening this summer around 7:30pm, if you’re still at the table, you could share a good Peterborough Players story.
With deep gratitude,
Associate Artistic Director
PS -- Stay safe and healthy. We’ll get through this together, apart. We are strong people. We are Peterborough Players. All of us. Peace to you.