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  • Writer's pictureJeff Thomakos

A Reflection on One Year

Private Lives

In April of 2023, we launched our first show, Private Lives, and buckled in. We had opened in the old JET space and were a bit nervous because we had no idea what to expect. Would people come? Would people like us? Would everything be ready?


Funny story, a few hours before we were set to debut our first production, the fire marshall popped in for a surprise inspection. Don't worry, we passed! But, if you ever wanted to see an artistic director sweat, you should have been there that day.


The show went great. The people who saw it loved it, but we were performing to audience sizes that ranged in the teens and twenties for the most part. However, word was slowly getting out.


John and Jen

That summer, we produced John and Jen written by local-boy-made-good, Andrew Lippa. This was the first time this amazing musical was given a full production in our state and we were very lucky to have two extremely talented performers, Jared Bugbee and Kristy Glass, rip our hearts out each night. If you came for that one, then you know what an exception experience that was. We had to keep extra tissues at the box office for that one.




Cadillac Crew

Our next show, Cadillac Crew, was part of our "Making Spaces" slot and we were so proud to be able to provide this opportunity to historically under-represented and under-resourced artists in our community. To see how meaningful this project was to the audience and the artists involved was truly humbling and we're so glad that we've made this a part of our DNA from the very beginning of our existence.


Talley's Folly

In December, I had the opportunity to play Matt Friedman in the Pulitzer Prize winning play, Talley's Folly. Not only, did it get our first sold-out audience, but it was a deeply personal journey for me as I explored my Jewish heritage through this amazing character and play. It was an incredible experience.




The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence

For our fifth production, we tackled another Pulitzer Nominee, The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence. I got to work with three amazing actors, (Dan Johnson, John DeMerell, and Maggie Alger) who each performed many characters in this mind-blowing script. This show was the show I was most looking forward to directing this season. It was so fun to play with different styles and characters.


Coming this summer, we are producing It's Only Life, a new musical revue featuring the songs of John Bucchino. Our Musical Director for John and Jen, Daniel Bachelis, is returning again and we will have our first returning performer, John DeMerell, who recently appeared as Merrick in The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, along with 4 other artist/singers who I'm sure will knock your sock off. Get your tickets for that one now!


After a year of being around, we've seen our average audience go up by around 50% which is amazing and humbling. Those of you who've been with us for the beginning have begun to notice. We hope to continue finding new audience members who understand the value and power of live theater and appreciate how special it is to have a cultural resource like this right in their own backyards. We couldn't do it without you spreading the word, telling your friends, sharing us on social media, and just plain showing up to our productions.


We love you and are so grateful for you. Can't wait to show you what's next.


Yours,

Jeff Thomakos

Producing Artistic Director




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