An Ask For Help & A Case for the Artist

a statement from the Producing Artistic Director

Maybe it's the artist in me, but I constantly draw parallels between the art I am creating and the world around me. When this crisis became too real, the day before we chose to close our doors at Open Stage, we held one last dress rehearsal for The Diary of Anne Frank, a play about a young girl, in isolation with her family, holding tight to hope. It was a beautiful rehearsal. A bittersweet evening.

I still can't believe the situation we are in. All of us, kept apart by this health crisis. And at Open Stage, where our purpose is to bring people together, the staff and board of directors at Open Stage are facing some very harsh realities in the isolating light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) health crisis.

As a result, I realized that we now need to launch an Emergency Appeal - Coronavirus Response. And I hope you can help. Click here to donate.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think we would have need for an emergency appeal like this. For 34 seasons, Open Stage has presented contemporary plays and musicals and offered a safe space for thought, art, and community. Yet the reality is Open Stage is now facing an unprecedented financial crisis - never before seen by our organization.

Many organizations will be asking for your help right now and they all need it. Open Stage is no exception: we need your help right now, too. Click here to donate.

Uncertainty around future events and with the cancellation and reimagining of our programming--classes at The Alsedek Theatre School, major fundraisers for the company, and many productions in our season--nearly half of Open Stage's annual budget is threatened from this crisis.

$194,000 is at risk.

If we don't act now, this pandemic will have an unimaginable impact on our programming, our ability to raise funds, and the future of Open Stage itself. Click here to donate.

I am so appreciative of all the incredible kind acts of generosity toward Open Stage in recent days. And I am proud of my staff and family of artists, who are continuing to create in a time of crisis.

It's time for us to support our first responders, essential workers, and healthcare providers. They are our heroes.

When we're on the other side of this, when the dust is settled, and we are figuring out our new normal, we need to tell their stories. We need to tell our heroes' stories.

And so I'll make a case for the artist.

The stories we need after this crisis, to process, to explore new worlds, to gain new perspectives, to escape, will be told by artists. Artists will use their mediums to celebrate these heroes and tell the tales of this crisis. Stories, songs, plays, paintings, sculptures, dances will be created in response. They are being created right now.

I hope that you'll choose to support artists, to support an arts organization today. And if Open Stage can be on that list? Wonderful. Click here to donate.

Before every performance at Open Stage, I end my pre-show curtain speeches with, "Sit back and relax, or even better: lean forward and open your mind and enjoy the show."

Lean forward today. Open your mind and heart right now and support artists. Your generosity is essential to mitigate the impact of this unprecedented crisis.

Support artists so that on that tomorrow when we are able to walk out of our homes and are able to gather, we can celebrate all of the art we have missed out on, enjoy the stories that are being written right now, and relish in the artistic entertainment, enlightenment, and education that feeds our souls. Together.

The cast of our upcoming production has been meeting online, rehearsing virtually. It's been magic to see. The play is Angels in America. An epic, two-part play about a horrible, confusing virus, an epidemic that clawed at humanity and ripped at the fabric of our nation. But the characters in the play--and the real-life front-line helpers and victims and survivors of the AIDS epidemic--rallied and fought and thrived.

In these difficult days, I wish you and your family well. And thank you for your generosity. Stay safe.

Stuart Landon
Producing Artistic Director

 

"Bye now. You are fabulous creatures, each and every one. And I bless you: More Life. The Great Work Begins."
- Tony Kushner, Epilogue, ANGELS IN AMERICA

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