End Scene

Well, that’s that. We finished the first annual Elgin Short Play Festival on a high note with an enthusiastic audience for our last performance.

The whole event went very well with two sell-out performances, excellent press coverage, and some fine acting (see below). Heck, we actually broke even on this one.

That’s rare.

Tony Aiello and Aaron Thomann, photo by John Congram

But the best part in my opinion was the goodwill generated by this event. To be working with close to 30 people on this project with a variety of backgrounds can only be a good thing for Janus, Elgin and the actors, directors, techs and volunteers that make all of this stuff happen.

That’s how I measure success. It goes beyond dollars and cents. Yes, those things are important. Without them you go broke and shut the doors. But more importantly, we took on something different, banded together with a bunch of talented people and made it work.

Now I know I might sound a bit too happy, but the truth is now is the time to enjoy it, because tomorrow we’ll be back again working on a new project with the hope that we’ll succeed.

Working in the arts is a tough business. I actually think if you make the majority of your bread doing something else, you’re lucky. You can do the work you want. You don’t have to play to the lowest common denominator. Of course, there’s a price for this: if you build it they will….not always come. That’s how that line should end.

The truth is, we as a people, are so distracted by so many things. It’s amazing when people actually stop to watch a play. To sit in the dark with a group of strangers and watch what’s happening on stage. That takes some real courage, because theater is harder to watch than a movie.

And yet, people came. That type of encouragement gives energy and strength. It reminds me of those famous words, “Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more…”

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