To address yesterday’s teaser: I found out earlier this week that the generous folks at the Carpenter Foundation have granted the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle the necessary funds to underwrite this year’s “Artsies” event. When I found out, I let loose with an enthusiastic (though quiet – I was in a room full of people) whoop of excitement. It’s a major burden off us organizers of the awards not to have to worry about money. But it’s also a good thing for the local theater community as a whole.
Hm. You look skeptical so let me explain. With all costs covered, every cent of the admission you pay to attend the event will go to the Theatre Artists Fund, which in turn benefits all local theater artists. Even if you don’t attend, more of the proceeds from the event will end up going to the Fund, which will in turn benefit the community as a whole.
Also, built into the budget that is now being underwritten is a smallish chunk of money for advertising. If we are able to advertise a little more broadly, we might reach more people who will come to the event, get a glimpse of how good the local shows are and will consequently be more motivated to see more shows in the future. We also set aside some money (again, a smallish amount) to cover expenses for any “big name” presenters who we might invite in from out of town. The hope would be that the big names would likewise build excitement for the event, incite more people to attend, they get a glimpse of how good…, etc. etc.
These last two bits might be a little pipe-dream-ish, I know, but still, they fit in with the general mission of the event: to build interest in and excitement for the local theater scene. To the extent that the event does that, everybody wins.
With that in mind, there are a couple shows opening this weekend -- “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at the Barksdale and Sycamore Rouge’s “The Odyssey” down at Battersea Park -- not to mention "Wait Until Dark" at the Mill, the Charlie Brown duo wrapping up at the Firehouse, and of course "Lear." Sounds like a winning weekend all around!