"Hast thou no letters to me from the friar?"
Romeo and Juliet, V.1
It has now been 20 days since last I posted, and I believe there have accumulated enough events of interest to make this one worthwhile.
First of all, thank you to everyone who has answered our plea for donations! The response has been astonishing, and the shadow of deficit that had been looming over us here in the office for the past few months has been largely dispelled by the envious streaks of a new dawn. It is more encouraging than words can adequately express to know that what we do is, apparently, as important to you as it is to us.
In other exciting news, tickets to see our public presentation of Stripped-Down Romeo & Juliet are, as of this typing, 81% sold out, with 18 seats remaining for Saturday, Nov. 12th only. If you haven't phoned in your reservation, please do it NOW!
I personally had the pleasure of attending our annual stripped-down preview at the Manitoba Association of Teachers of English's Special Area Group Conference (M.A.T.E. S.A.G.), and I can assure you the fellows are putting on one heck of a show this year (the SDR&J touring cast I mean, not the M.A.T.E S.A.G. people, whom it should be said, no doubt put on a heck of a conference as well). You can have a sneak preview by going back to the homepage and clicking on the FANTASTIC promotional reel shot & edited by SIR's own Sarah Constible. The tour is nearing the end of its first week, the early reviews have been very positive, and the show will only get better! Don't miss it!
We've also been very busy attending workshops and preparing our application for the Winnipeg Arts Council's new artsVest initiative: a program started by Business for the Arts (BftA) which equips and encourages arts groups to develop mutually rewarding partnerships with those in the "regular" business community. (If you're reading this and you or your partner or parent or cousin or child or child's godparent happen to own a business, or be responsible for developing relationships with other businesses, and you think you or this other person might be interested in becoming a part of SIR's business of show, please contact us!) The bonus part of the artsVest program is that, if our application is successful, we will receive matching grant monies for any sponsorship with a new partner, or any increase in funding from a previous relationship. So 3 cheers for BftA, WAC, and artsVest!
Lastly (and from your perspective, likely leastly), I will be busy for the next 7 weeks playing Friar Laurence in the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre's production of Romeo and Juliet. The concept for this production is an intriguing one, and will no doubt have people talking (and perhaps writing letters). I look forward to sharing anything that seems like it might be relevant with all of you (whoever you are). While I'm away, I'm sure Michelle and Matt would appreciate your letters, e-mails, or even a phone call, just to help alleviate the sad longing that will most assuredly result from my absence (HINT: the phone calls, letters and e-mails that involve a dollar value seem to cheer them up the most).