In addition to cancelling last weekend’s performances of of Annie Baker’s The Flick, we also had to cancel the entire five-show encore run of The Guys at Ruth Eckerd Hall. We had the playwright, Anne Nelson, scheduled to appear at our Saturday and Sunday performances. She checked in with the Potenzas, who she’s become in a way pen-pals with over the years and their many times taking the beautiful two-person play on. They let her know that they were safe and sound, but explained the great loss to the theater over the past week. It’s one, as I’ve mentioned, we’re still feeling. She said the situation down here reminded her in a way of the circumstances that led her to write The Guys after 9-11 for NY’s The Flea Theater. She also offered this response to share. As Paul said, such “truth and kindness.”
Theater is the beating heart of a community. Tampa is extremely lucky to have a theater like Jobsite, whose spaces offer a range of artistic opportunity, and whose repertory approach allows artists to grow and mature in step with their audiences. Such institutions exist elsewhere in the US — but not everywhere! They’re jewels that must be protected. In times of hardship, the theater will be there for the community; not the first responders, but not long after. You can gather to laugh and escape your troubles, or bond to mourn your losses, in that unique fashion that only living, breathing theater can offer. Please make an extra effort to support Jobsite Theater, so it can be there to support you. I had bought my flight to Tampa for its remarkable production of “The Guys,” but Irma had other ideas. I’m eagerly awaiting another opportunity to come and see these talents in action!
We’re back on stage with the Pulitzer Prize winning comedy-drama The Flick tomorrow (Thu.) night at 8. We’re 100% back to business. As much as I hated seeing the Shimberg “bagged and wrapped” the morning after the storm, I was just happy it was intact with no damage. These artists have worked so hard on bringing this show to life — it is obvious in the joy each of them brings to the stage — and are literally champing at the bit to get back on it. One of them, Brian Shea, took to Facebook with the following:
After this stressful week I NEED The Theater. I need to be with the good and great people of Jobsite Theater‘s The Flick. I need to be telling this story with these folks for YOU … Honestly, performing the single performance we were able to last week before Irma hit us was the distraction I needed.
As if the storm wasn’t enough, Lee Elementary (in my neighborhood of Tampa Heights, just barely north of the Straz Center) burned down last night, displacing hundreds of students and teachers and staff who were finally set to return after the days off from the storm. My heart goes out to you all, the school was not only a beloved community resource but a historic landmark.
My offer for free tickets still stands for those of you still feeling Irma’s (or the Lee fire’s) sting. I know some of you are still without power. I know some of your homes are uninhabitable at the moment. We’re here for you. Come sit down, relax in the air conditioning, be among friends, and allow ourself to escape for a few hours. Send me a note, contact us over social media (I’m not sure why I say “us,” everyone knows I answer all of the accounts, right?), give the office a call.
If you’re in the position to pick up a full-priced ticket, of course we would appreciate that. We have a lot, and I mean a lot, to make up from last week’s losses. We also created a promo code for folks who can maybe pay something but who can’t afford a full-priced ticket: POPCORN will get you into select shows this weekend (excludes Saturday) for $15.
We’re ready to move on. We’re ready to get back to work. We’re ready to welcome you back into our home. We’re ready to embrace this community (both literally and figuratively) after one hell of a week.