Alley Repertory Theater and Idaho Gives 2020
photo credit: Samuel Stimpert
A different kind of Idaho Gives is taking place here in 2020.
On its face, mostly everything is the same, as far as a statewide drive by non-profits to raise money for their organization. Missing, however, is the group outings, the large in-person celebrations, and events associated with the day of giving.
For that fact, and the fact many organizations were hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the closing of events, Idaho Gives extended this year's window. Instead of one, 24-hour blitz of statewide donating, the online giving period was extended to a two-week give-a-thon.
Donations began rolling in on April 23 and will continue until midnight on May 7.
I'm here to talk about an organization near and dear to me: Alley Repertory Theater.
In 2019, Idaho Gives Day also happened to coincide with a play reading of my latest full-length play, Half Past Midnight. It was one year ago today this reading was presented by an outstanding cast and director. In ways, it seems like it was only yesterday.
It was only in the last month that I completed the most recent draft of this play. Thanks in large part to hearing the play out loud and the fantastic feedback received that evening, I was able to make some changes, fine tune the characters, and hopefully will find a home (or two) for this play in the near future.
That little side trip updating everyone on the status of Half Past Midnight out of the way, it's time to talk more of Alley Rep.
I have spoken of this theater company quite often in the past, as it's provided me with a theatrical home for the past nine years. In fact, I first stepped foot on the stage at Visual Arts Collective nine years ago this month, when I appeared in The Farnsworth Invention by Aaron Sorkin.
photo credit: Freddie Loucks
Little did I know these would be the first steps of a journey with Alley Rep that took me from actor to writer, then to assistant director and director. From production manager to resident dramaturge and much more.
A journey that started with Alley Underground, when Aaron Kiefer brought me on board to help him run that pillar of Alley Rep. In this, we created, along with Evan Sesek, the Voices from the Boise Hole series and Levi Middlebrooks: Back 2 Boyzee.
Sprinkled in over the years were readings of three other full-length of plays of mine, an opportunity which I'm grateful to have received.
My involvement continued to exponentially grow, and soon I was doing things in theater world I'd longed to do for some time. Much of that credit belongs at the top of the chain to Artistic Director Buffie Main, who cast me to begin with (and has subsequently put up with me for the past nine years).
Alley Repertory Theater is entering their 13th season in the fall of 2020, with Main at the helm as Artistic Director for every season. Alley Repertory Theater produces innovative theater that connects professional artists and local talent with thinking audiences, a mission that has held true since the formation of the theater.
The theater, consisting of a (mostly) volunteer staff of six, produces all types of theater, ranging from contemporary masterpieces (Indecent by Paula Vogel) to treasured and timeless musicals (The Rocky Horror Show, La Cage Aux Folles) to adaptations of popular and iconic television shows (Golden Girls Christmas Extravaganza, Jodi Sings Judy). Through it all, Main makes it a point to pay designers and performers a stipend to honor their hard work.
During Idaho Gives 2020, every dollar Alley Rep receives for donations (whether it be $5 or $500) is put towards the productions themselves. Donations help pay for rights, build and paint sets, costumes, designers, performers, and even to buy food for the cast and crew during the often grueling marathon that is a tech week.
Times are tough for a lot of us so it is understandable if there isn't money to give this time around. And there are many charitable organizations to give to but if you have a few dollars to spare and want to continue to see thought-provoking, fun, and inclusive theater in the Treasure Valley, please consider a donation to Alley Rep:
Info can be found here: https://www.idahogives.org/organizations/alley-repertory-theater
I am blessed to call the people I've worked with the last nine years close friends and family and look forward to more seasons on the horizon.
Thanks for stopping by today. Be bold. Be kind.
To stay up-to-date with Jason's writings, musings, and more, be sure to follow him on Twitter: @jasonrh_78