The last three years have been chaotic for so many of us. We have grown accustomed to disruption, and our sense of Time seems to be…out of time. But this last Summer, while at the beach, watching my kids play happily in the water, I was struck by the thought, “This is it.” Slowing down, being present in the moment, absorbing the light, colours and sounds that are all around us, is Life.
I then realized that I hadn’t slowed down in quite a long while, and the thought made me a tad melancholy. I realized that for the last three years, rarely have I allowed myself to be aware of the moments unfolding before my eyes: the pure abandon and joy of my wonderfully wild, and totally playful little humans. How is it so easy for us to lose track of what really matters? How is it so easy to forget to notice?
Funnily – and helplessly – I then thought about Theatre and how it quite forcefully awakens us to the present moment. We are literally held captive as the story unfolds in front of us on stage. By virtue of its design, Theatre invites us to slow down and just…notice…the wild abandon of actors embodying a story – like my children singing and dancing in the water.
I have never been more convinced of the necessity of live Theatre.
Thanks to YOU, 2023 has been a very special year featuring two-world premieres (Pandora and The Dark Lady); exciting collaborations across different provinces; a joy-filled Twelfth Night that played to multiple sold-out houses at the Ruins, and much laughter, tears and sweat behind the scenes.
Despite these achievements, SIR, like all theatres, is in a precarious financial position. Governmental and foundation funding for Covid relief has ceased; inflation is rampant; operational costs have never been higher; building materials and facility rental fees have skyrocketed as well. Everything costs more, but our funding pool has not become deeper.
2024 will be a pivotal year for the performing Arts in this country. Many are predicting the coming year to be a challenging one. There have been far too many stories of theatres in the UK and US shutting down, and Canadian arts organizations are bracing for a bumpy ride.
This recovery phase will take time, and we need your help and support to get through it. This is your Shakespearean company. Please help us protect our legacy, so that together we can continue to astonish our community with great acting, incredible stories, and a gorgeous natural setting that only Shakespeare in the Ruins can deliver.
It is precisely because the world feels chaotic and theatres are under threat that I believe we need more Art, more plays and more joy.: our 2024 season will feature a very popular and magic-filled comedy; a new Canadian play that serves as the perfect sequel to Othello; and a new solo, touring version of Shakespeare’s most famous tragedy co-adapted by a novelist of international reputation…are you curious yet?!
And here’s the blunt truth: 2024 will only be possible with the generous support of folks like you. To paraphrase Bill himself:
It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves
I’m writing today because I know you care, and because without you, we really wouldn’t be here – let’s take action together, give shape to our destiny, and secure our future.
I recently came across a stoic definition for happiness that I can’t stop thinking about: happiness is work worth doing.
I then asked myself, what is the worth of our work at SIR? What is the value of our work to our communities? Do we bring happiness to ourselves in the doing of it, and by extension to the thousands of people who attend our shows? I think we do. We absolutely do. I know we do. Which is why I’m writing today; to highlight the emphatic beauty and necessity of live Theatre, and to appeal to you to invest in its future and protect it together.
SIR is worth protecting. Please donate today.
Rodrigo Beilfuss, Artistic Director