Loren Toolajian via Crowdrise
December 08, 2011
As many of you know, Signature Theatre Company has been an essential part of my life for over twenty years. Back in the early days of the company, at the Kampo Cultural Center on Bond Street, Jim Houghton invited me to write music for a Lee Blessing play called "Two Rooms." It was there, right then, that my work as a composer in New York began, and which has continued over the years in collaboration with playwrights like Horton Foote, Sam Shepard, Adrienne Kennedy, Arthur Miller, Bill Irwin, and Lanford Wilson, and with the many other extraordinary artists who make up the Signature Theatre family. It has truly been the most creative musical journey of my life, and it all began because Jim said Yes!
You may also have heard or read that Signature Theater is building the largest new theater complex built in NY since Lincoln Center…three theaters designed by Frank Gehry on West 42nd Street…a truly amazing, once-every-few-generations event in the cultural life of this city.
(Check out the video to the left.)
It’s a project that cost nearly $75 million to build and the last few million still has to be raised before the Opening in late January of 2012.
Those of us who have worked with this great company, the Signature Artists, decided we’re not going to just hold our breath hoping it gets done. We’re not going to sit around waiting on people to write big checks. We’re going to rally together and try and raise a lot of money before the holidays.
Each of us is going to try to raise $2,000 to help build this new theater.
Why should you feel great about supporting this effort?
Signature Theater is unique for two very important reasons:
It’s the only theater in America that devotes a full season to one playwright each year. You can go hear a Mozart festival, you can see a Scorcese film series, see retrospectives of Picasso’s work across time but, until Signature, there was no way to experience the whole landscape of a playwright’s work.
And Signature is truly ‘theater for everyone’. As theater ticket prices climb further and further out of reach for most people, statistics clearly show that the audience is less diverse and older every year. We’re cutting off the next generation of theater goers and reaching fewer people outside the “1 percent”. Signature’s commitment that every seat for every show will be $25 for the next 10 years, is a bold and inspiring commitment to making the magic of theater affordable to all.
So I’m pitching in and here’s what I’m asking you for:
I’m asking 20 of my closest friends and family to step up and help me reach the goal.
Will you donate $5 or $50 or even $100 to support my effort?
Any contribution of yours would be meaningful. You decide the amount that works best for you. Truly.
And, you can do it right here. Easy.
There are over 1,200 of us so if we all reach that goal it would be a huge contribution toward making this dream a reality and showing that artists can join together to make magic happen and have an impact on the world above and beyond the stories we weave on the stage.
Thank you again for all your support over the years. We've talked often about Signature, you've seen some of the productions with which I've been involved, and along the way your participation has helped the company grow.
Once upon a time, Jim said Yes and changed my life forever. I ask you now to also say Yes to an extraordinary new cultural center in New York by contributing to the unique and vital Signature Theatre Company.
Thanks SO very much.