All of our Wellesley theatre family sends sincere wishes that you and your loved ones are coping in these extraordinary times.
Last weekend, the Spring mainstage production for Wellesley College Theatre – Lauren Gunderson’s SILENT SKY – would have come to life for you. Instead, all of our student cast, design team and faculty are sheltered safely around the country from Hawaii to Maine, but our Ruth Nagel Jones theatre was dark. We miss each other and we miss YOU, our steadfast and curious audience. We are grateful year after year for your support.
Looking forward – with great sadness, but with a determined intention to do the right thing by our community – we must confirm what you must have already suspected: Wellesley Repertory Theatre – our professional wing – will not be presenting the Boston premiere of THE LAST WIFE by Kate Hennig this June. We had a glorious cast, director and design team lined up to tell the inspiring story of Catherine Parr, Henry VIII’s sixth and final wife – who was the author of the first book published in England by a woman in her own name in the English language. We hope we will be able to revive our intention to share this remarkable story with you in the future.
As we process letting go of not only the remainder of our planned season but also the shuttering of stages around the globe, we appreciate even more deeply what theatre offers: the invitation to gather in the dark and be transported to another world, while we reflect together on the extremes of our collective lives and imagination. We, like you, long for shared laughter, rolling gasps, contemplative silence, unfamiliar grunts, a sea of nodding, fist-pumping, eye-rolling, weeping, clapping, and lingering post-show to connect with each other over your shared experiences. We appreciate how you wait for your favorite company members to emerge, so that you can hug them. We appreciate how our student interns tackle professional responsibilities and share creative growth with our company members. We appreciate the transformation of our space through innovative design, and the transformation of our skilled actors into such varied characters. And we appreciate how a dramatic story can transform and galvanize us in turn.
Boston has such a rich arts community – it’s why many of us are thrilled to live here! But as you’ve no doubt been reading, our local artists need our support as their avenues for earning and contributing to our lives have come to an abrupt halt due to the pandemic. If you’re able, please consider supporting our arts community through a contribution to one of these relief funds: Theatre Community Benevolent Fund, Boston Artist Relief Fund, or many of the organizations linked here by Creative Capital, and The Actors Fund. Mass Cultural Council reports that as of April 15, more than a quarter of a billion dollars in revenue has been reported lost in the local arts sector, with 95% of cultural institutions shuttered for the duration. But we know we must do our part. And art will find a way to connect us, as ever.
We will see you as soon as it is safe. Any small donation our community members could make to the Wellesley Rep company in lieu of purchasing a ticket this summer will go directly towards housing and supporting our professional company members during future seasons, and would be deeply appreciated. We exist as ever to provide a creative and supportive space for Wellesley’s talented alumnae to build a bridge to their professional lives by telling dynamic stories with our beloved ensemble.
But truly: how can you help Wellesley Repertory Theatre best? Come back to us when we reopen! As we have done since 1998, we will continue to present dynamic stories of complex characters realized by our skilled and passionate company of storytellers, which you can experience together, in real time. And even share a cookie on us during intermission.
Artistic Director, Wellesley Repertory Theatre