Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Thanksgiving Letter from Artistic Director Andy Kirtland

Hello Friends, Fans and Followers,

Thank you for an amazing 2017! This past season was another experience of growth and change for NRTC. We received our first grants as a 501(c)(3) organization. We became one of the inaugural members of Britsburgh’s Performing Arts Society. The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project added performances and venues to its tour, playing in Beaver County for the first time, and returning to Artscape for a third year in a row. We had our largest cast to date and reached more audience members in a bigger geographical area than it has in the past. We had a change in leadership as I took over the position of Artistic Director from Elizabeth Ruelas, my fellow co-founder. Those of you who follow us on social media may have noticed a change. That is due to our company member Nick Benninger, our new Media Manager. Nick will entertain and engage you in the digital world when we are not performing in the real world, and keep you informed when we are.

This is the time in the season when most of the action is happening back stage. The company is working hard setting up our 2018 season, which will include USP’s 5th Annual Summer Tour! And to that end, we are excited to announce that we will bring As you like It and The Life of Henry the Fift to parks in and around Pittsburgh and beyond in July! We are still hammering out schedules and locations, so stay tuned.

We strive to create and offer opportunities for our company members outside of the Pittsburgh area. Some theatres here bring actors in from outside. We want this to work the other way. For example, for the last 3 years, we have taken performances to Artscape in Baltimore, MD. 2018 will see our first project in this direction outside of USP’s tour. We will partner with our friends in New York, Holla Holla Productions, on a staged reading of Twelfth Night, directed by Elizabeth Ruelas. Details will follow.

Another aspect of the company that we will be emphasizing is our education program. NRTC offers workshops in the Unrehearsed Cue Script Technique for schools, universities, students, professionals and people of all ages. We will conduct a series of Pay-What-You-Will Workshops in neighborhoods and communities in the areas we bring USP. These will be announced as they arise, so keep your ears to the ground. If you’ve seen one of our unrehearsed productions and wonder how we do it, if you’re curious about the technique or the company, if you haven’t made it out to a show because you don’t know what to expect or you’re just a fan of Shakespeare and want to see a different way of interpreting his texts these workshops are for you. We would love to see you there.

At this time of year, I am thankful for the cast, crew and company for a great season; the company and board members for all of their hard work getting us to where we are today and pushing forward to where we will be in the future; all of the people and organizations that have partnered with NRTC; and to our fans, friends and followers who give us a reason and the support to do what we love to do. The New Renaissance Theatre Company could not have come this far, The Unrehearsed Shakespeare Project’s fifth anniversary (!) without all of you. For your past, current and future support, you have my sincerest gratitude. Thank you.

Warmest Regards,

Andy Kirtland
Artistic Director
The New Renaissance Theatre Company