Madagascar Jr. - July 30 - August 01, 2020

Axiom Repertory Theatre

 End Notes 

Director’s Notes
Holy Madagascar, we have a show! It might not be what we expected, but none of us could have predicted what the world (let alone our camp) would look like this summer. I wasn't optimistic.Theatre, for me, is about in-the-moment human connection through storytelling. The prospect of not being able to gather in a room together, to me, feels contradictory to performance art. How do we not feel defeated in this global pause — this extended intermission? We look to our past: In July 1606, in the midst of a theatrical season that included King Lear and Macbeth, the Plague forced Shakespeare’s company, the King’s Men, to lower their flag at the Globe theatre and lock their playhouse doors. Yet theatre, as well as Shakespeare’s works have not only survived, they’ve proven a cornerstone for all future performance art. I believe humans are born with an inherent and inexplicably vital need to create and tell stories as a means of connection, learning, preservation and catharsis. I don’t believe this will ever change nor diminish, no matter the plague, live theatre will survive, but...

It doesn’t feel the same to perform for an empty theatre house. And I'm trying to let that go. We have turned obstacles into assets and done our best to roll with the punches. I know that whatever final form our production takes, I will remember that we are a lucky few to have had this opportunity to create together with our theatre family. I would not do this if I didn’t have my teammates: Lizzie, Pat, Cassie and Sophia are the four pillars of this program and it would not function as smoothly and effectively without them. They are some of Redding’s most talented, and my most cherished friends and I will gladly join them on any theatre ride as long as they will have me. I owe special thanks to Sarah Redmill, Sarah Richards, Sam Bautista and Madison Nascimento: our team was exponentially stronger because of your contributions. Like a thick piece of steak, "Thank you" doesn’t cut it and we hope you’ll continue to join us round this dinner table next summer.

A very special thank you to our Captain, Nancy Hill: There are warriors in this world that don’t fear the unknown like the rest of us. They find deeply hidden stores of motivation within themselves when threatened with the prospect of losing that which they are most passionate about. Each tentative day leading to camp and every day since, our producer and Mama Bear, was and will always be a vigilant and fearless warrior for ACT. I am beyond grateful to her and our entire team for this opportunity to thrive in our passion while the majority of theaters across the country have been forced to close indefinitely.

Our main goal from the start was to make sure we were first focusing on the kids safety and well being and second having a blast returning to the fun and familiar. Above all else, for me, this camp has provided a huge step in the direction of a return to normalcy. I hope it has for everyone involved. That has been the greatest gift in all of this: to watch our children (because our children are here, too!!) play and engage and see them thriving in the presence of their beloved friends and teachers, returning “home” to something that they care very deeply for and want very much to be a part of. These students jumped bravely and fiercely back into a world with a slew of new rules and regulations, with annoyingly uncomfortable masks and shields over their faces (one of a performers most important instruments and tools), with little complaint or resistance, eager to have fun and learn and work and encourage and uplift one another, and for a few hours a day we were able to forget that the rest of the world is still trying to cope in isolation. 

The students have blown me away this year with their resilience, patience, talent and passion for theatre. Now more than ever we rely, to an ever greater extent, on our patrons and parents, both for the moral force to continue doing theatre at a time like this and for the financial strength to facilitate ACT’s mission to continue providing this opportunity for our children. Your support as parents and family has been invaluably encouraging for the staff and we are honored that you have entrusted us with the health, safety and well being of your children in such unpredictable times. 

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