What we bet on in making those very tough decisions, was that enough of our supporters and many more would take the time to talk with us to explore together the larger issue of finding a way to build annual support for Wayside Theatre. That's a tough nut to crack. It requires a level of commitment and desire to hear the facts that takes both time and effort.
As we've engaged with a few of our supporters over the last week or so, we've begun a few, not nearly enough, of those conversations. There has been some anger, some frustration and confusion. We continue to do our best to use that as an opportunity to lay out the case and work forward.
One of those supporters, Thomas Madden, and his wife Teresa, have taken the time and made the commitment to find out those facts and work with us. They donated to the campaign and last night he sent me this email which, with their permission I am running here. I'm doing so not to congratulate and thank Mr. Madden and his wife for their support. It is our intent that this will help those who might have the same feelings, the same thoughts, and the same doubts about Wayside Theatre going forward, to understand that we are serious when we say we want to communicate and have the opportunity to lay out our case.
On to Mr. Madden's letter.
My first attendance at the theatre was some years back when WINC had a "call in with the answer to win tickets" contest, and my wife successfully got thru and answered. Since then we've been hooked, and although not every presentation has always been in our comfort zone, it's important that live theatre be supported, and that emerging talent be encouraged in moving their careers forward. To that end, we have certainly found enjoyment in every show.
So, we've become what I guess I'd describe as "regulars": subscribing, snacking at the Curtain-Call before the show, and generally enjoying coming out from Manassas for the beauty and spiritual refreshment that comes from attending Wayside. It's also fun to sit in "our" seats there in the front row.
Knowing how much I value the theatre, my wife surprised me this past Christmas with a subscription to the upcoming season and an engraved brick for us. I was incredibly happy both in knowing we'd see the next season's shows and that there'd be a concrete (sic) reminder of our support.
So, it was a great shock to receive the note from Mr. Brill about the emergency need to again help keep Wayside going. My first reaction was anger and despair at the way the news had been broken to us...of course I'm sure many of the "golden" folks had similar initial feelings. After some reflection, it became an "if I had only been told sooner" feeling....and that was more disappointing. Although it started with that rather abrupt and shocking letter laying-out that things were so bad, I welcome the fact that the we are now seeing just what it takes to keep things running. These are concrete facts to be addressed in ways that are both material and emotional.
You are probably aware that I've been working with Thomasin over the past week to contribute towards this latest fund-raising campaign, but I also realize that these last-ditch efforts to keep things running don't approach the long-term requirements of the theatre; firm commitments are the best way to help ensure future needs are met.
I've thought about this for awhile, and have decided to embed myself further into helping meet these needs.
To that end, I intend to use PayPal at least once a month to donate towards whatever needs to be funded, whether is intern salaries, office-supplies and materials, upkeep for the building, vehicle repairs or whatever.
I will need help remembering this, however: a reminder via email to me a few days before the beginning of the month will ensure my attention.
I'd like to say that this is all due to my altruistic nature, but in reality it's a selfish act; I want to be able to continue seeing live theatre and my friends at Wayside well into the future....and you can certainly take this to the Board.
Regards and Best Wishes.
Back to Warner
If you'd like to talk with us, let us know. We know it takes time and effort. We're willing to spend the time and commitment with you.
Thanks for your support and please do all you can to share this post to your friends and neighbors.