So many stood with us in 2014 and said “I’m a believer.” Thank you cast members, crew, behind-the-scenes volunteers, advertisers, cash donors, corporate sponsors, advisors, and audience.
Because you believed, MTVarts was able to produce, in partnership with MVNU, our Classics Series Arthur Miller's “The Crucible”; our Senior Series, “Driving Miss Daisy”; our First-Knox sponsored summer musical, “Shrek”; the artsIQ youth workshop and show Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.”; and, thanks to owner Mark Ramser and a generous grant from The Ariel Foundation, expand the use of our warehouse.
We tried a fun experiment on Facebook asking folks to describe our year in five words? After some consideration here are my five:
TORN, TOUCHING, CHEEKY, GROWING,TERRIFYING… but in a good way!
TORN… Arthur Miller's “The Crucible”
The passion of MTVarts’ volunteers fuels our growth and innovation as a theatre company. It was evident in “The Crucible” in a plethora of details. My personal favorite was the backdrop with the growing tear. The discussion it generated, the interpretations of the meaning and significance of the drop, were a true measurement of the show’s success.
“The Crucible brought to light the fact that mass suspicion and hysteria are still present today as they were during the Salem Witch Trials. A seed of fear can grow a forest of hatred that leaves a mark forever. Miller’s timeless classic reminds us that we always need to respond with love and understanding, even in the most trying times.” Leah Stone, director
TOUCHING… Alfred Uhry's Pulitzer Prize-winning “Driving Miss Daisy”
Man’s inhumanity to man is not a subject I want to revisit on stage. I go to the theatre to laugh and have a good time; please don’t make me think of the evils that lurk below the surface. But there is a quote by Edmund Burke: “...the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” So, once again, the passion of our people translated to powerful theatre to affect us, move us, touch us.
“‘Driving Miss Daisy’ is a play of great love and patience, telling a story that takes 25 years to unfold. We developed a real feeling for the characters. The cast, crew and, audience fell in love with this theatrical gem.” Bruce Jacklin, who portrayed Boolie Werthan
CHEEKY… Dreamworks’ ”Shrek: The Musical”
Our summer musical was MTVarts at its best. Cast and crew donated thousands of hours of their lives to the making of the show and we had a ball. The show was weaved with the simple joys of pretending to risk-taking to the profound impact theatre can have in the life of a special angel.
Amanda Mayville, who portrayed Princess Fiona, said “What an amazing opportunity. I learned so much from the other cast members and production staff, and got to be a princess/ogre for the summer!”
Ian Ernsberger, who portrayed Farquaad, speaks of folks complimenting him with “You are never short on talent” and then goes on to say, “Little did I know how short I would go to prove that. By far the most painful and tiring role I've ever played but seeing those kids’ faces after the show and talking to them made it all worth the bruises. And for Sarah, who couldn't tell us how much she enjoyed herself and loved seeing all the characters come to life. But you could see that sparkle in her eye when she came up to me in line after the show and I am so thankful I was able to entertain that wonderful little girl.”
So yes, it was a little cheeky. There was some flatulation on stage, but… “We sailed away, we saw the world the world, we reached the farthest reaches. We felt the wind, we tasted salt and sea… andmeven stormed some beaches.”
GROWING… artsIQ youth production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, Jr.”
They came together. They did a show. And it was fabulous! Youth theatre is like a bucket of water poured on the roots of a tree during a drought. “More, please!” so we can grow, grow, grow!
Matthew said, "Being part of MTVarts Little Mermaid Jr. production was an awesome experience that I will never forget. I learned so much from all of the directors and made a lot of new friends."
And what of tomorrow?
Will MTVarts be here in 10 years with these kids leading the way? Will we have strengthened the roots so the tree blossomed? So that it is strong and still growing? Which brings me to my final word.
TERRIFYING… but in a good way!
Frankly, it is terrifying to think what it is going to take to keep MTVarts green and growing.
MONEY. Money to pay for the shows. Money to pay the bills to operate the warehouse. Money to sustain our infrastructure. Money to move us forward.
PEOPLE. Volunteers to finish all the work on the to-do list. Volunteers to sing and dance and make people happy. Volunteers People to do all the work to make that possible.
BELIEVERS. Dreamers who will imagine the more we can be together! MTVarts… multi-tasking volunteers + appreciation + respect + trust = success. Thanks Art Schad for investing many hours toward that goal of organization. Thanks Kenyon students, MVNU students, and loyal core volunteers for hauling that bale and toting that barge. If you all stay with us and some more folks come alongside, we will assess these terrifying opportunities, make a plan, and look confidently to our future. Here’s to reaching for the stars!