A Time for All Seasons

Santafe.com - June 1, 2011

"What is the cause of this sudden drought of players and productions?"

Summer is one of my favorite seasons.  In my travels though, I have found a Santa Fe summer to be something special.  The warm wind blows softly from the west. As is whistles through lush trees you can hear the voice of the world.  Cobalt skies stretch on for miles and soft white clouds hang listlessly in the sky.  At night the milky way shines brighter than the moon and the gentle sounds of the cicadas echo across the hillside.

The beauty and splendor of the season aside, summer also stands as one of my favorite times of the year because summer is a very special time for the theatre.  The summer season usually sees new and original plays find funding, outdoor theatre at its peak, traveling companies bringing their talents to our stages, and summer stock companies offering a variety of classic and contemporary shows.  All at affordable prices. In most cites across america, even most theatre communities, summer is the busiest and most varied time of the year.  But as I look forward to the coming theatre season of the City Different I suddenly see no season at all.

Most companies shut their doors till fall.  Touring companies choose not to pass through our theaters.  We have no summer stocks nor festivals save the hit and miss productions of the fiesta melodrama, and as a playwright i can tell you, it is very difficult to fund original works. 

So I ask why?  What is the cause of this sudden drought of players and productions?  Do we have not venues to fill?  Not actors ready to jest?  Not audiences to elate?  The answer is a mystery and I can give little advice but this: Help support the summer shows.  You’ve all heard “If you build it, they will come”.  Well I say If you go, they will build it!  Go to the theaters, in mass, in droves. Sell out the shows and demand they run them longer than the paltry two weeks they’ve been given.  Find the street performances of short plays on the Plaza and drop a coin in the thespians’ hat.  Write to traveling companies and ask them to come.  Theatre is of the people, for the people, so let your desires be heard.  Because if its not for you, then who?  We are a city that values our culture.  We have galleries and operas.  Concert halls and timeless history.  We are the oasis of New Mexico, a beacon of light in the dark.  Yet how can we boast if we have not even a few plays to while away our summer with?