One of my biggest disappointments for the summer of 2020 was the cancellation of American Players Theatre’s summer season. This theater has meant a lot to me over the past 18 years or so. I had wanted to attend their theater for years but there were always things that got in the way. But while going through a divorce, I made the time to go. Some very important alone time that let me restructure my life and rediscover the arts that lived in my heart and my soul. At first I attended every Shakespeare play that they were presenting, usually one per month in June, July, and August. I made friends with a couple who ran a Spring Green motel and they always put me in the same room on every visit. But they moved on and I had to find other digs. sigh.
And then I met the love of my life and I was so eager to share my experiences at American Players Theatre with her. And she loves it as much as I…and we expanded our interests in plays and playwrights and also embraced the Touchstone Theater as it came into its own. And we visited my cousin who had a shop in Spring Green…and found favorite restaurants…and cherished our evenings (and matinees…something unusual for us) spent at APT. Magic memorable times. What an exciting period for both of us.
Over the past five years, we have changed our habits and attended a number of plays over a number of contiguous days around my birthday in mid-August. And this was the plan for 2020…and celebrate a milestone birthday as well. So this summer has given me a real sense of loss in any number of ways. But I will endure and look forward to the future of American Players Theatre. And that’s where we are today…let’s insure the future of APT. Read the email below…watch the video from Brenda DeVita…and please donate something! I will be giving them $70 to celebrate my 70th birthday and I intend to have drink at APT in 2021 on my next one!
Last week we celebrated Founders’ Day – the anniversary of APT’s first performance, which took place on July 18, 1980. Since that day more than 40 years ago, APT’s season has been in full swing at this point in the summer. Until now. As soon as we announced the cancellation of our season, we began diligently planning and analyzing how APT is going to come out the other side of this. Here is our plan.
Today, we announce Back to the Woods: A Campaign for American Players Theatre. The campaign will raise the funds APT needs to literally get back to the woods and produce a full season in 2021. In the meantime, it keeps basic operations running and allows us to create a bit more virtual theater along the way (more news on that in the coming weeks and months). The goal is to raise $5 million by the end of 2021. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of you, we are already close to the halfway mark, with a total of $2,290,000 in hand already.
Once again, we ask for your help. And this time, we’d like to take it a step further. We want you to be our partner in reaching an even larger community of people who care about APT’s future.
Please visit our campaign site. There, you’ll find stories from people who love and believe in our theater and the work we do. Stories from people whose lives have been changed by APT. Each of them has volunteered to become a fundraiser. We hope their experiences inspire you to support their effort.
And we invite you to go a step further; to join them and become a fundraiser yourself for APT’s Back to the Woods Campaign. Tell your story. Then share it with friends, and help us get the word out to people who care but may not have given yet. Whether you join a team or fundraise on your own, starting a page is fun and easy, and any amount raised will go a long way in helping us reach our goal.
Above all, we treasure the relationship we have with our supporters, and our audience. We want to strengthen that relationship even further, as we fight for the future of our theater, together. And as always, we hope you’re remaining happy and healthy, and that we’ll see you safe, sound, and as soon as possible.