Yesterday…Peggy McKowen and I were going over our 2010 operating budget line by line. We were looking for additional cuts…trying to squeeze and tweak each line item without cutting the artistic program. It was a tough exercise and we were feeling the stress that other non profits are experiencing. Suddenly a CATF Trustee appeared in my office doorway with a generous donation. It made our day. And it reminded me how fortunate we are to have such dedicated supporters who passionately believe in our important work. This particular trustee has been supporting the Theater Festival since our first season 20 years ago. His gift yesterday means so much to us. I am deeply touched by the generosity of all of our patrons and supporters. The Theater Festival could not exist without their loyal support. They give because they care. They give because they believe in our Mission: “dedicated to producing and developing new American Theater.” They give because they are passionate about our Core Values:

*          “To sustain an artistic process of innovation and daring.”

*           To tell diverse stories.

*           To create a profound and ever evolving relationship between the audience and the work.” 

These last years of financial turmoil, as we all know, have had a devastating impact on so many people in our community and region. The Contemporary American Theater Festival has not been immune to the economic “downturn” and we are weathering the storm as best we can…but it is difficult.

The economic climate is a harsh reality check that has required hard choices and tough decisions. But…we refuse to be deflected from our Mission. We will continue to produce new American theater. We will continue to nurture and develop playwrights.  We will continue our passion for telling contemporary stories that help us make sense of our world. We will not be deterred by the economic challenges that we are facing this season. Because…I know I can count on all of you who are reading this blog to help us…especially now. A gift from you will ensure our future.

Ed Herendeen