Sunday, December 13, 2015

NRTC: Year 1...and Beyond!

Just over a year ago, on 19 November 2014, The New Renaissance Theatre Company was officially incorporated as a non-profit corporation. In that year, we have accomplished quite a bit: 

The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project’s tour grew from two performances to six, and we performed in five new locations, including taking the show on the road to Baltimore, MD where we were seen at the Inner Harbor, and at Artscape. At home in Pittsburgh, we began a relationship with Allegheny Parks, allowing us to reach audiences all over Allegheny County.  

Behind the scenes, we have come to realize how the (sometimes unforeseen) small, yet crucial day-to-day tasks of running a theatre company are adding up. Networking through social media and events, blogging, looking for and obtaining insurance and other legal necessities, finding venues and willing partners and donors, fundraising and creating programs to educate performers and students are all fortunately beginning to pay off. We are extremely lucky to have added three outstanding and committed board members, whose talents and enthusiasm are an amazing addition to the administration of the company. Because of their skills and initiatives, NRTC will be able to grow faster and in a sustainable way to ensure that we are around for years to come. 

Of course, none of what we do would be possible without the growing support of our generous donors and the tireless efforts of our actors, who, with each performance, undoubtedly, embark on the most difficult task they will ever be asked to perform in front of an audience.  

At this time, as we are striding the blast between this year and the next, we must also look to the future. In 2016, The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project will continue to grow. Ambitiously, we are adding a second show to our summer tour, performing A Midsommer Night’s Dreame and The Tragedie of Romeo and Juliet in rep. We are expanding from six to 12 performances and planning on returning to Baltimore. There are the possibilities of other performances and workshops in and around Pittsburgh as well as out-of-state. We will launch an Indie-gogo campaign to raise money and awareness of NRTC and USP. Our budget is increasing for the third year in a row, and we will be in a great position to invest in the theatre’s future. 

All of this is great for us and this may sound like so much horn-honking and back patting – but, yes it is. Go us! We are not ashamed to say that we are proud about what our hard work and passion has accomplished in this short period of time, or that we are excited about our future. But as always, our focus is on the audience and how you experience theatre and how it can be a meaningful part of your life.  

So what do our accomplishments mean for you? 

As the New Renaissance Theatre Company grows, we will be able to offer more opportunities for local artists and students. The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project is unique not only in Pittsburgh or the USA, but also in the world. Very few theatre companies attempt the type of work we do, or approach the text with the research and attention to detail that our productions demand. Most importantly, in order to bring our historically informed practices to life, we depend on brave, talented actors whom we seek, and will continue to seek (and find), in Pittsburgh. NRTC celebrates local and locally grown talent, and actively seeks ways to keep them in Pittsburgh, which is a benefit to the theatre community at large. As our visibility grows at home and abroad, we will become a resource for the city and, indeed, the region. By increasing our physical footprint through more and farther-flung performances and workshops, and increasing our presence online, NRTC will have the ability to reach more people who may not normally have direct access to quality, professional theatre on a regular basis. We can act as a gateway to the incredible arts scene that thrives and grows in Pittsburgh. 

In the next few weeks many people will begin to make New Year Resolutions. It could be said that NRTC’s is to move onwards and upwards, but we are striving to do that all the time. We promise to continue the hard work on our end in the coming year and making The New Renaissance Theatre Company a theatre that not only we are proud of, but one that you, our friends, fans and followers can be proud of, too. 

Thank you, and Happy Holidays!  
-Andy Kirtland, Managing Director of The New Renaissance Theatre Company (which produces The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project)