I am so late in sending you this season announcement! Forgive me. As the saying goes, sometimes life gets in the way of all our plans. Your Porthouse family and staff have been experiencing some life altering events, some planned, some not. I am delighted to share with you the news of the birth of Natalie Ann Gates’. She is the daughter of our Managing Director, Rebecca Gates and our Scene Shop Supervisor, Jason Gates. Natalie forever changed our lives when she entered this world on October 23, 2012. We celebrate her life! We also celebrate the life of Charles Kent, my dear Dad, who passed on November 4, 2012. He held a seat in row I, center section, for every opening night performances since 2001, where he sat between my Mom and me. We will miss him. With these “life events” freshly in mind, we continue to plan and shape our summer season. Some say, “Art imitates Life”; and some say, “Life imitates Art”. Either way our lives and work are forever intertwined. And so it is that we present the 2013 summer season: A Celebration of Life; L’Chaim!
We will start our line up with an “enchanted evening” of South Pacific. This show has captivated audiences for over 60 years and its themes continue to resonate today. During the first tour of South Pacific a Georgia legislator called it “implicitly a threat to the American way of life.” Issues of racial prejudice remain vibrant in our culture today. In South Pacific we watch characters attempting to come to terms with their unseen prejudices, thereby inspiring us to revisit our own beliefs and perhaps change our lives. Surely, somewhere, Oscar Hammerstein must be nodding knowingly. I have the privilege of directing this production.
Our second show of the season is the musical Working, based on the book, Working: People Talk About What They Do All Day And How They Feel About It by oral historian and broadcaster Studs Terkel. It is an exploration of what makes work meaningful for people in all walks of life. Turkel wrote that he found work was a search, sometimes successful, sometimes not, 'for daily meaning as well as daily bread’. The characters of Working are everybody you know. Working is a musical look at the seemingly humdrum lives of working people. It reveals a myriad of hopes, aspirations, and dreams, the great pride we take in our daily routine; a pride that celebrates Life. Jim Weaver will direct and choreograph.
Our final show of the summer is Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Assistant Artistic Director Eric van Baars. Tradition is central to “Fiddler”. In the village of Anatevka tradition guides all aspects of the peoples LIVES. Tradition dictates that a matchmaker aid in arranging marriages. Custom dictates that only men dance at weddings. Tradition regulates dress, food consumption, and who can interact with whom. But tradition also dictates the celebration of LIFE. As the song says, “To Life! To Life! L’Chaim!”
Please join us for our Celebration of Life! I invite you to send me news of the events that have shaped your lives since we last met, including births, deaths, marriages, anniversaries, birthdays, special accomplishment and anything that has happened in your life which we might celebrate. You can send these messages via e-mail: email@example.com or via the post office at 1325 Theatre Drive, Kent State University, Kent, OH 44242-0001. I look forward to hearing from you!
Your subscription renewal will arrive within the next few weeks. If you wish to round your subscription up to an even dollar figure, consider allocating that donation to either Porthouse Theatre or to the Charles R. Kent Memorial Scholarship for Musical Theatre. Either way you will make my day. I look forward to happy times this summer.
With a full heart,