Posted by Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway
Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays. All of us at Barksdale Theatre and Theatre IV have many reasons to be thankful.
We are thankful for:
the legacy of hard work, unflappable commitment and uncompromising artistic passion that is our birthright, a gift beyond measure that has been passed on to us by Pete and Nancy Kilgore and Muriel McAuley
a family of theatre artists whose number and talents belie the size of our community, who constantly challenge us to lead and to serve
an intelligent, energized audience that bucks all national trends and continues to grow year after year—an audience that celebrates our successes and pardons our turkeys—an audience that encourages us to risk failure and expects us to do our best
a large and vigilant staff that works selflessly and creatively behind the scenes to generate the energy needed to sustain a major institution (unless you’ve seen them work their magic first hand, you probably have no idea)
financial contributors who believe in the necessity of what we do and are willing to put their money where their hearts are—corporate and foundation donors who understand that it is only through their support that nonprofit arts organizations can work to ensure that everyone has a seat at the table (or at least in the theatre)
trustees who provide the expertise we need to provide ongoing and effective management, who serve as our eyes and ears in the community, who take personal responsibility for the care and feeding of our mission, and who form a bulwark that protects us when times get tough
volunteers who contribute that most precious commodity—time, and who lend encouragement with an unwavering smile
the Virginia Commission for the Arts, under the exemplary leadership of Peggy Baggett (pictured to the right), always caring, always communicating, always holding us to the highest standards
institutional partners like Greater Richmond’s many senior centers and retirement living facilities (Barksdale’s Bifocals Theatre Project); the Hanover Tavern Foundation (our Country Playhouse Season at Hanover Tavern); James River Writers and the READ Center (Virginia Arts & Letters Live); the Latin Ballet of Virginia (Latino Theatre Project); Prevent Child Abuse Virginia and the Virginia Dept of Social Services (Hugs and Kisses); Second Presbyterian Church (the Acts of Faith Festival); Bon Air Presbyterian, Forest Hill Presbyterian and Tabernacle Baptist (rehearsal space); and the Steward School (our summer High School All Star Musical)—all of which help us build capacity to better meet the needs of our community
esteemed colleagues at the African American Repertory Theatre, the Carpenter Science Theatre, the Chamberlayne Actors Theatre, the Firehouse Theatre Project, the Henley Street Theatre, the Richmond Ballet, the Richmond Shakespeare Theatre, the Richmond Symphony, the Richmond Triangle Players, Swift Creek Mill Theatre, Sycamore Rouge, the Virginia Opera Association and many other nonprofit performing arts organizations who help to create the critical mass that keeps all of us afloat
thriving university theatre programs at Randolph Macon, the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University—their faculty expertise and student talent adds to the lifeblood of our theatre
remarkable youth training programs including the Christian Youth Theatre, HATTheatre, SPARC and many others—enabling children to engage in the arts both as participants and appreciators
and most importantly, the hundreds of thousands of individuals who go nameless here, who buy the tickets, book the tours, assemble the groups, make the contributions, and simply do their part each year to ensure the success of Barksdale Theatre and Theatre IV.
Thank you. We couldn’t do it without you.
Have a blessed and peaceful Thanksgiving.
--Bruce Miller and Phil Whiteway