Writer, Director Matt Ritchey Talks Mr. Malcolm's Music Factory


Mr Malcolm's Music Factory is currently playing at The Broadwater Second Stage at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The show, which is specifically crafted to entertain families and children through puppetry, comedy, music, and general fun, addresses the range of emotions that school-aged children may be experiencingthe dark and oppressive kindin order to bring them into the "light."
I interviewed Actor, Writer, Director and Teacher, Matt Ritchey, who discusses the effect the pandemic, as well as recent traumas, has had on his students, the school staff, and his own life as a grade school improv instructor. Ritchey's improv arts-based teaching brought him to new friends with backgrounds in music, puppetry, and comedy, and together they've created Mr. Malcolm's Music Factory. Using the help of a rich collective of artists who hail from Broadway and popular shows like "Avenue Q", "Mr. Clown," "The Dark Crystal," and The Jim Henson Company's "Puppet Up!" improv, Ritchey's own theatre and Hollywood Fringe Festival experience, and a little crowdfunding, they have together created a live family show that comes not a moment too soon as a balm during times currently charged with trauma, loss, and recovery.

Can you tell us how the idea for Mr. Malcolm's Music Factory came about and what was the catalyst for its creation?

I teach improv to kindergarten through fourth grade and the kids have been going crazy. And all of the stress of all of that is really what made me decide to do a show.

Matt Ritchey

Do you teach other subject matters besides improv?

Just improv. I belong to this really, really cool school called the Larchmont Charter. They've got four schools. Two of them are Kindergarten through 4th grade and then one of them is 5th through 8th grade. And then there's the high school. I teach at both of the Kindergarten through 4th-grade schools... It's been a rough year for everybody. But, in terms of the school year, this is the first year that we've really kind of been back in person, after taking about a year and a half off. And, I am sure for every grade that's been REALLY hard specifically from a social-emotional standpoint. When you take a year and a half off, for an adult it might mean nothing, but when you're a kid one year can feel like 10 years. And that is the reason that Malcolm Moore and I started working on this show. Malcolm started off working with kids with social-emotional needs.

Let's start with how you and Malcolm Moore connected. Tell us about that?

It was funny because a couple of friends of mine from college suggested I meet this guy, Malcolm, because we had very similar sensibilities and just thought we would get along. And he had an idea for a puppet TV show that he wanted to do and then maybe I'd be interested because I'm really into puppets and Muppets and that kind of thing. So, around the same time, they found out that the school needed some help with a couple of things. And I started working at one of the schools slowly kind of building my way up into teaching, and I've been there for a couple of years now. And last yearwhen everybody was still online (learning)I was teaching art online as a substitute. I would show up at one of the campuses in person and a bunch of us would hand out free lunches to parents and kids who would come through and need something. And while I was there I'd get a chance to hobnob and meet people in person. [Malcom and I] do have very similar sensibilities, and we look enough alike that the kids either get confused or actively mess with us. There are a couple of kids who call me “Mr. Malcolm.”

But I found out that he really wanted to do this show, and was very into puppets. He knew a guy named Tom Caltabiano [a producer of] “Everybody Loves Raymond.” [Moore] has since been doing this very cute kid show, Mr. Clown, which is a YouTube channel show that he's been on every once in a while as a drum and social-emotional instructor [with Caltabiano.] And Malcolm wanted to do [a new show]... and he wanted it to be a social-emotional thing. So, I wrote a pilot for him, which he very much liked, and gave it to a producer he knew who thought it was great, but felt that in order to really pitch this to channels or production companies we'd need some visual stuff.

We discussed shooting a pilot, but that was going to cost like twenty to $40,000 to shoot...and then there's no guarantee of anything. This was the end of last year and since I knew Fringe so well I said, “Why don't I rewrite it to be a stage show?” That way, best case scenario, maybe we could bring it to other schools during the next year and do a social, emotional, and musical thing for kids in lots of different schools... start at [the Hollywood] Fringe and see how it goes and then maybe go from there?”

And that's what we did.

So how did you get connected with all the puppeteers?

Malcolm is also not only a great musician but also a drum instructor [who] has taught either in his classes in school or has taught in someone's personal house. Throughout the years he's met a number of people and a number of kids whose parents have been puppeteers or who have been involved with [The Jim Henson Company.]

He met a gentleman named Victor Yerrid, who is a very accomplished Puppeteer [and] has done tons of stuff, including the recent “Age of the Resistance” which was the “Dark Crystal” show that came out a little while ago. Incredibly talented. We also have on our team Christian Anderson, who built two out of three of the actual puppets that we're going to be having on stage.

Geneviève Flati is working with us as well, who I knew from a show she did a while back called “Les Miz and Friends,” which was a painfully funny “Les Miserables” puppet show. And Christian and the guys have done “Puppet Up!” here and there with her.

Do you know what "Puppet Up" is? It's brilliant! It's an adult-only puppet show that takes place once every couple of months on the Henson Lot. Henson, which used to be the Chaplin Studiosand also where they recorded [the song] "We are the World"has a bunch of actors and puppeteers with a whole bunch of different puppets...So they kind of teach you how to do puppets for TV, but then it's an anything-goes Puppet improv! It's brilliant. It's absolutely brilliant.

Alan Heitz, a great actor and an old friend of mine, did a really good stint on the “1883” TV show. I gave him a call as we needed someone to play the bad guys in the show. So Alan came in and he's doing a fantastic job. And I think that's everybody...they're so good. They're so funny...the kids are gonna lose their minds.

I was doing tech the other day and I realized that most of these kids are going to be experiencing Malcolm and puppets for the first time in a controlled environment with special kinds of sound and sound effects, and the lighting, and it's gonna bring things to life in a way that I don't think they will have experiencedsome of them ever!


"Hey, we've just come out of this major, major, major pandemic. How can we remember the things that are important and get back to where we were with gratitude and with love and acceptance?"


So it sounds like you're expecting many of the kids and their families who are from Malcolm's classes and yours?

It's my hope that they're going to be coming along. In order to do this, I first went by my usual Fringe plan [which is to] do everything as inexpensively as possible. Then I work with performers and everybody and I say to them “Okay, listen, we're in this as a group. And however this winds up, I want to try to raise money at the beginning so that we know we can do the show at either no loss or a minimal loss.” I do a [crowd fundraiser] to get whatever it is, and come up with the budget of $3,000, let's say. But I also believe that the donors should be getting more for their money than just a “Thank you” and a T-shirt or something. So if you're giving money to a show you should be able to come to see the show, right? By giving money to the project you get a ticket, and it's also advanced ticket sales!

We've already got a number of people who are going to be bringing their families and stuff, and we know that because they bought tickets in advance to help us on the show. And then from that point on we hope all the kids in our schools are going to be able to come.

But this experience has been unique for me because I know how to handle Fringe in terms of getting other shows' participants to come. Doing a kid show at Fringe is a whole different thing for me. Because, going to [Hollywood Fringe networking] Office Hours and meeting people I certainly hope they would like to come and see the show, but the show is specifically a social-emotional show for kids. And it'd be fun to have people who are doing other shows to come and see it, but we do want the kids. So in addition to letting everybody at the Larchmont schools know about the show we've been trying to get the word out as much as possible. We're in LA Parent online right now, we're on Discover Hollywood, and I've sent things to as many parent blogs as possible.

We didn't really have the money to do big advertising in big periodicals, unfortunately, because we're still a small-time thing. But trying to get some word of mouth trying to get as many people who have kids to say, “Hey, you know, this will be a great fun thing to come and do on a Saturday morning in the first month of summer!” So, it'll be interesting to see how this goes. It's the first time for me in that sense.

So what does the B.A.D.S. acronym stand for?

It's Big Anxiety-Driven Splotches. Steve Troop, who's done a bunch of Fringe puppet performances before, is playing our kind of bad guythe B.A.D.S. So the concept of the show is that Malcolm and his friends' factory is inside a lighthouse. They make rhythms and beats and drums and music to light up the world, and that's where the lighthouse comes in.

But pretty soon, these kinds of dark splotches start attaching themselves to the lighthouse and start dampening the light. And everybody's emotions start getting darker. People start to get worried. They start to get sad. They start to get angry. And the characters have to figure out, “What's going on? And what are these things? And how can we get past this?”

So, as much of a kid show as this is, the deeper aspect is, "Hey, we've just come out of this major, major, major pandemic. How can we remember the things that are important and get back to where we were with gratitude and with love and acceptance?"

Mr. Malcolm's Music Factory show times at The Broadwater (Second Stage), 6320 Santa Monica Blvd. are Saturdays, June 18, 2022, 2:00 P.M., and June 25, 2022, 2:30 P.M. (live and virtual), and Sunday, June 25, 2022, 11:00 A.M. Be sure to check Better Lemons calendar for any updates or future extensions that may be scheduled and The Hollywood Fringe Festival's specific Covid Safety Protocols prior to purchasing tickets and attending.



Best Theatre of the Year - Looking Back At L.A.’s 2019

I give to you my personal list of the best theatre Los Angeles offered in 2019, with a few swipes at the less of the best….

First off, the production of August Wilson’s Jitney at the Mark Taper Forum. Wilson’s works share a distinction with those of Shakespeare, in that when the plays of either are fortunate enough to be housed in a production of true artistry one finds theatre nirvana, which is what director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and cast provided L.A. audiences with.

The cast —Steven Antony JonesFrancois BattisteAmari CheatomNija OkoroRay Anthony ThomasHarvy BlanksKeith Randolph SmithBrian D. Coats, and Anthony Chisholm returning to the role which earned him a Drama Desk Award and Obie in 2000’s off-Broadway production— performed as keys on a perfectly tuned piano, with  Santiago-Hudson assuring not one false note was sounded.

Contributing to this perfect harmony were David Gallo’s set, Jane Cox’s deft light design and Toni-Leslie James’ superlatively unobtrusive costumes.


In six short years the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts has won L.A.’s appreciation for the work produced and Artistic Director Paul Crewes its respect for his guidance.

This year that appreciation and respect were given further validation: The Old Man and the Old Moon by the PigPen Theatre Company, was an intoxicating entwining of old world folklore, Arabian night tales and the poetic arts of a Celtic seanchaís resulting in an evening of wondrous magic which is the essence of theatre.


Some twenty-five years ago at the old Tiffany Theatre on Sunset Boulevard, the marvelous Hershey Felder presented his first solo show based on the life of a great composer.  Having previously brought Chopin and Beethoven to the Wallis, this year Felder returned again— and again was…well, marvelous.

Hershey Felder: A Paris Love Story, are the reminiscences of his first youthful journey to Paris which are placed as a palimpsest in homage to his favorite composer Achille-Claude Debussy.  Directed by Trevor Hay it was perhaps the most enchanting show of the season.


We have the Wallis to thank for Renée Taylor’s one-woman show, My Life on a Diet Best known to movie lovers as Eva Braun in Mel Brooks’ The Producers (1968) and to TV viewers as Fran Drescher’s mother on the CBS sitcom The Nanny, Taylor, with her late husband Joseph Bologna, co-wrote the Oscar nominated Lovers and Other Strangers as well as two additional screenplays and 21 more plays.

It was a privilege and a joy to be in the company of the 86 year old Taylor who is a juggernaut of talent as well as a living history of both Broadway and Hollywood, and, personally, I wanted her show to go on longer than its 90 minutes.

Like a week longer.  Maybe two.


The Wallis also deserves thanks for bringing back talented David Mynne, whose one-man presentation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations was one of last year’s high-water mark.

A Christmas Carol, this year’s Dickens offering, was less satisfying but Mynne’s performance was nevertheless amazing to watch.


The Fountain Theatre, which I regard as one of the jewels in the crown of the L.A. theatre community offered little this year that drew my interest and what did, I’m afraid, I was less than thrilled by.

Idris Goodwin’s play Hype Man, though not without merit, I found weak and I thought the cast, Clarissa ThibeauxChad Addison and Matthew Hancock and director Deena Selenow, brought more to the play than the play brought to the stage.

Of course, there was no performance of the Forever Flamenco series that I was not enraptured by.  These monthly Juergas of dancers and singers, overseen by Deborah Culver at the Fountain since 1990, I have often heralded as one of the best kept secrets in L.A. and one of its hottest tickets.


The Long Beach International City Theatre’s production of Arthur Miller’s The Price was a show one should regret if missed.

David Nevell as a man who sees in the wreckage of his father’s life the failure of his own, and Elyse Mirto as the wife who sees her husband’s true worth but is unable to make him believe it, were each outstanding.

In the most Biblical referenced of Miller’s plays, Bo Foxworth’s layered performance as the prodigal son allowed the audience to see that the chains forged by his choices were as heavy as those of his brother.

As the secondhand furniture dealer Mister Solomon, which is the heartbeat of the play, Tony Abatemarco fluctuated adroitly between the Old Testament’s wise Solomon and Faust’s wheeling-dealing Mephistopheles.

I find director John Henry Davis to be rather hit or miss, but with The Price he undeniably knocked one out of the stadium.

DoubleDouble playwright Guy Zimmerman and director Juli Crockett, by a fusion of the 1944 noir classic Double Indemnity with Shakespeare’s Scottish play, successfully brought another artistic chimera to the stage.

Zimmerman and Crockett juggled snippets of dialogue and hints of shared motifs, transforming a trio of Barbara Stanwyck doppelgangers  (Henita TeloJenny Greer and Isabella Boose) into a Greek Chorus to warn  Saughn Buchholz as Walter-Walter of the fate awaiting his Oedipus MacMurray.

From concept to execution, this production had the luster that craft and intelligence brings; sharing in the credit for this are scenic designer Melissa Ficociello and Michael Feldman’s ballads.


Bill Irwin’s On Beckett was perhaps more lecture than show, but what a subject to lecture on and what a lecturer to hear.  Having been a fan of Bill Irwin since his Old Hats and Fool Moon days, what I found so extraordinary in his discourse/performance/dissertation/sermon on the works of the great Irish playwright on the stage at Kirk Douglas Theatre, was Irwin’s ability to delve into those “linguistic non-spaces” Beckett supplies, and weave relevance into those silences found there.


Playwright Lauren Gunderson is the current “flavor of the month” from the New York theatre scene.  I find most of her works “vanilla” at best.  But there are a couple of her plays which, while not on the level of “Chocolate Therapy,” come close to “Chunky Monkey” status.

Ada and the Engine is one.  It tells the story of the rakish Lord Byron’s daughter, Ada, and her contribution to the development of Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, precursor to the modern computer.  In their staging, Theatre Unleashed emphasized the play’s strengths while cloaking its weaknesses, resulting in a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging production.

As the two dominant men in Ada’s life —William King-Noel, later Lord Lovelace and the driven Charles Babbage— Gregory Crafts and Alex Knox gave faultless performances.  But it was Jessie Sherman in the titular role that captured the audience and herded them on the pathway from the joys of dreams to the price paid for them.

Director Heidi Powers enriched the production by her employment of Denise Barrett’s costumes and use of Kevin Hilton’s animation which shattered the black box’s confines by expanding the vista of ideas.

Less successful, but certainly more frenzied was the Theatre Unleashed production of Never Ever Land by playwright Rider Strong, centering on the allegations against Michael Jackson’s involvement with underaged boys.  Director Michael A. Shepperd applied cunning and skill but was only moderately successful in masking the play’s faults.  On the other hand, Josh Randall as the “abused” lad’s manipulating father and Leif Gantvoort as the unctuous news commentator after a story turned in exceptional performances.


As a former puppeteer, I admit I was a sucker for Les Miz And Friends! A Puppet Parody and my hearty guffaws filled the Hudson Theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Nathan Makaryk and Geneviève Flati co-directed their “re-envisioning” of Les Misérables, the much beloved musical based on Victor Hugo’s much renowned classic.  The crushing poverty, sexual exploitation, brutal police and civil bloodshed are still there, they just added a ton of puppets and screwed with the songs.

Performer-puppeteers Kelly RogersKevin GarciaGabrielle JacksonJaycob HunterHailey Tweter and Carter Michael kept the laughter coming, as did Christopher Robert Smith as Javert.

The production was packed with silly puns and dopey jokes, but what came as a total surprise, at least to me, was the quality of the cast’s musical chops.  Some credit for this must go to “musical accompaniment, Orchestrator and Arranger” David Norris.  Here’s hoping Makaryk and Flati set their satirical sights on another classic of the musical theatre.


I did manage to see Rogue Machine’s Disposable Necessities in their new space in Santa Monica.  Playwright Neil McGowan has conceived a clever work akin to an old “slam-door” comedy where an actor would rush out as one character to re-enter as another seconds later.  But, McGowan does away with the “doors” by setting his work in a protean near future when bodies are changed with wardrobe like ease.  The device supplies the show with laughs, but also with difficulties.  Claire Blackwelder isn’t up to the demands of conveying the persona of an elderly chauvinistic lecher dwelling in young lady with a body worthy of Vargas’ watercolors.  Nor does Jefferson Reid have the acting apparatus to conjure the reality of a spoiled white boy deposited into the body a black urban teen; the rest of the cast, Billy FlynnDarrett Sanders and the always superb Ann Noble, having the benefit of experience turn in stellar performances.

We look forward to what Rogue Machine and Artistic Director John Perrin Flynn have in store for us in 2020.


The Judas Kiss by British playwright David Hare travels the oft-treaded ground of Oscar Wilde’s disgrace following the infamous trial for libel he foolishly instigated against the father of his young lover Boise.

Director Michael Michetti’s production at The Boston Court was lushly mounted with sets by designer Se Hyun OhDianne K. Graebner’s costumes, and lighting design by David Hernandez, but all the lushness could not conceal the piece’s anemia of dramatic tension.
Some atonement was found in the performances of Darius De La Cruz as Robbie Rose, Wilde’s most stouthearted friend and that of Colin Bates as the self-centered Boise.
But it was the sincerity and depth of humanity which Rob Nagle brought to the role of Wilde that served as the most memorable feature of a rather forgettable show.


The Hollywood Fringe Festival held every June along the strip of Santa Monica Blvd running from Highland Avenue to Vine Street should be a seasonal Mecca for the creative souls of this city and those with any reverence towards the arts.  HFF 2019 boasted a total of 405 individual productions and sold over 67,000 tickets.

Here were the standouts for me:
Mil Grus, featured the absurdly inspired clowning of Helene UdyGrayson MorrisJeremy SappJenson Lavellee and Isaac Kessler under Dean Evans’ direction and took TVO’s “Best of the Fringe.”   The show, along with its five misshapen blobs of bizarre silliness, just opened in New York.

Theatre Unleashed made their presence felt at the Fringe with Tattered Capes by Gregory Crafts, an intelligent and clever account of the marital woes that befall two caped crusaders.  With outstanding performances from Chris ClabaughTravis Joe Dixon and Joanna MercedesCrafts’ play celebrated the superheroes of our childhood while reverberating with deeper questions regarding the secret identities we use in concealing our true selves from those we love.

Designer Denise Barrett provided the super costumes and Corey Lynn Howe’s direction was more powerful than a locomotive.

With Son of A Bitch, Director Billy Ray Brewton fashioned an American Morality play about, to quote my fellow critic David Narine, “Lee Atwater’s  – Republican-Strategist-Liar-Driven-Liar-Brilliant-Liar- Son of a Bitch – rise to power.”

Featuring solid performances by Dennis Gersten as George H.W. Bush, Luke Forbes as “W” and David McElwee as Atwater, playwright, Lucy Gillespie’s work was a much-needed history lesson.

Another political offering at the Fringe was The Mayor’s Debate of Tranquility, Nebraskaa silly and sinister parable on the American electorate.

A local news broadcaster, Emily Dorsett, hosts a mayoral debate in the American heartland.  The candidates include the gay uber-liberal lesbian (Kate Hellen) a Tea-Partier (Lucie Beeby) and the slimy incumbent (Jim Hanna who also penned the script).

The debate goes from glad-handing to backstabbing with gleeful alacrity and the laughs roar out.  But beneath the chortles, Hanna and his cast slip a grim warning; that in this nation today, the “amber waves of grain” are closer to Rod Sterling’s “cornfield.”

Butcher Holler Here We Come written by Casey Wimpee was perhaps the Festival’s most successful immersive piece.  The audience is confined in a room dark as pitch, sharing in the fate of five miners trapped beneath the earth.  Under the astute direction of Leah Bonvissuto, the voices of the unseen miners, Michael MasonIsaac ByrneAdam BelvoMorrison Keddie and Adam Willson, spin about the audience, webbing them in desperation.

Spencer Green’s twisted take on the anthropomorphic beast fables of Aesop, The Scorpion and the Frog, was riotously engaging.  Showcasing the talents of Matthew LeavittChristine Sage and Alex Parker it was hands down one of the Fringe’s most thoroughly enjoyable offerings.

Public Domain the Musicalwhile not perfect, had highpoints that would make your nose bleed. Sam Pasternack (who wrote the book, composed the music, supplied the lyrics and directed) gathered some first-rate performers for this musical ragging of the Disney Corporation’s propensity to squeeze profits from any character in the public domain.  Pasternack uses those public domain icons that Disney overlooked: Oedipus (Max Mahle), The Monkey Paw (Max Ash), Rosie the Riveter (Codi Coates) and…er, Potato Mussolini (Ben Cassil).  Let it be known, costume designer Ember Everett, rose to the occasion.  One of my favorite numbers was Oedipus’ song, “The Way to Become a Hero (is to be at the right place at the right time.)  Were there flaws in the production?  Of course, but it also had a Potato Mussolini!

Solo shows are the stock in trade for any Fringe and HFF 2019 had some extraordinary ones, with the TVO’s “Best Solo Show (Female) going to Raised By Wolves, a cautionary tale about life among alpha-males and evil step-mothers, written and performed by Marla Black.

TVO’s “Best Solo Show (Male) went to Monica Bauer’s Made For Each Other, an astonishingly tender tale staring John Fico as a man who learns that even those in their flabby fifties are deserving of love.

Cathy Schenkelberg arrived at the Fringe with a double whammy for Scientology; first there was Squeeze My Cans, her harrowing one-woman show about the 20 plus years she spent in the cult of L. Ron Hubbard.

Then there was that show’s musical clone Squeeze My Cabaret, in which Schenkelberg related the same tale but showed that she has a pair of pipes on her that could knock the smug superciliousness off Tom Cruise’s puss at twenty yards.

In HFF 2018 Yokko brought her New York based company Ren Gyo Soh with a Japanese Butoh re-fitting of Euripides, Butoh Medea.  This year Yokko turned her efforts on Shakespeare with Hide Your Fires: Butoh Lady Macbeth adapted by Sean Michael Welch and directed by Brian Rhinehart.  Both shows were equally entrancing.

Two excellent productions which deserved greater exposure were Clark Wade-A Jazzy Tragedy, written and performed by Esquizito, AKA EP Perez which drew on memories of New Orleans’ Golden Age;

 And

Stephen Lang’s Beyond Glory based on the recollections of Medal of Honor winners for which Steve Scott took TVO’s “Best Actor” award.

From Ireland came Drought, poetess-songsmith-performer Kate Radford’s haunting indictment of the toxicity of sexual abuse, which TVO acknowledged as the “Best International Show.”

Her true-life tale of a model being afflicted with alopecia was shared by Jannica Olin in (IM)Perfekt. Olin managed to inspire her audiences and at the same time convulse them with laughter.

With Black Boxing, playwright Matt Ritchey held a funhouse mirror to the very concept of solo shows.  Directed by Matthew Martin this raucously funny gem chronicled every pitfall solo shows face.  Fittingly, this send-up of a one-man show featured performances by Ritchey and Jim Niedzialkowski.

Finally, I’ll close with one of the most satisfying shows in HFF 2019, Temple Tantrum, written and performed by Nicole Steinwedell. Raised in a right-wing Christian cult, Steinwedell broke free and plunged into a world diametrically different – Hollywood.  Steinwedell told her tale with the slashes of vibrancy one expects on a Jackson Pollack canvas.

Steinwedell’s dynamism, like the dissonance of a “perfect storm,” may have dissipated into an ineffable silence, but for director Kimleigh Smith who ably applied orchestration to the tempest, assuring awareness of the work’s import and clarity, for which she took TVO’s “Best Director” honors.

Of course the Fringe had disappointments: Olivia Wilde Does Not Survive the Apocalypse, Princess Magic’s Trash Time Revue, and Lincoln 2020.  But these were in a minority.

And the larger L.A. theatre scene had its pratfalls too:

Between Riverside and Crazy, (It won a Pulitzer Prize for drama, just like Enter Madame and Men in White!), Scraps (whose playwright the program told us “never learned to properly write a play.” I buy that.) and The Play That Goes Wrong (which I’m sure would have been much funnier if I hadn’t seen it.)

But these were in a minority as well.

The demands of theatre are arduous, and despite good intentions, dedicated labor and inspired concept, we often fail or falter through our own faults or fate’s callous insensitivity.  This is when we should recall the words of Robert Ingersoll:

“…when men and women belong to a profession
that can count Shakespeare in its number,
they should feel nothing but pride.” ¹

And so I say to all my good friends, to all the stagehands, house managers, dancers, marketing directors, composers, ushers, wardrobe supervisors, directors, set designers, choreographers, carpenters, light board operators, set dressers, producers, sound designers, singers, dramaturges, dialogue coaches, box office agents, fight choreographers, company managers, janitors, make-up artists, musicians, spotlight operators, set builders, technical directors, videographers, dressers, prop masters, parking attendants, playwrights, actors, stage managers, wig makers, publicists, scene painters, critics and most importantly to all who make up our theater, let us join together in 2020 and do what we do best – make magic!

From all of us at theTVolution.com we hope 2020 brings you good fortune, good health and of course, great theatre.