For twelve vibrant years, BackStage Theatre Company has been a steady presence in the remarkable Storefront Theatre movement in this splendid city. For twelve years, BackStage has packed big ideas into intimate performance spaces and told complex stories about families. For twelve years, we shared our stories with the sincere hope that your world, your city, and your family might seem just a little bit different after the evening in our theatre came to end. By telling stories that embraced the values of connectivity, closeness, courage and delight, we hoped to captivate our audiences and artists alike; to respectfully engage the hearts and minds of those who produce and those who attend; to entertain with broad minds and open hearts; and to produce with ambitious joy.
And what joy there has been. Saying goodbye will not be easy. But it’s time to do just that.
With equal parts joy and sadness, we are announcing that our current production of James Saunder’sA SCENT OF FLOWERS will be the final story you hear from our stage. On August 25th, the curtain will fall on the final act of A SCENT OF FLOWERS, and on the final moment of BackStage Theatre Company.
The sadness comes from acknowledging the realities of a treasured organization whose lifespan has come to an end. We will deeply miss the opportunity to engage with you, our extended family of friends, patrons, supporters and fans and to surprise and challenge you with our stories. Our engagement with you was central to the stories we told, and we will sorely miss the opportunity to talk with you about them in the years to come.
But there is joy in the announcement, too. Twelve years is a happy life in the scope of any small arts organization. We can say with real conviction that we spent those twelve years telling stories that were never easy, rarely familiar, and were always challenging and meaningful to our artists and our audiences.
Consider this sampling of BackStage stories … THE MISANTHROPE, TERRA NOVA, ARSENIC & OLD LACE, DENISE DRUCZWESKI’S INFERNO, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, BLOODY BESS, MEDEA, WAITING FOR LEFTY, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, THE MEMORY OF WATER, ON AN AVERAGE DAY, ME THE DEVIL & OTHER FRIENDS, AUNT DAN & LEMON, ORANGE FLOWER WATER, THE PLAY ABOUT THE BABY, THREE DAYS OF RAIN, MEMORY, A NUMBER, and now A SCENT OF FLOWERS. This is a list of stories to be deeply proud of. And through telling them all, we met you. And you stuck with us until the very end, and for that we will be forever grateful.
There is also joy in the fact that A SCENT OF FLOWERS seems to be the perfect story to celebrate these twelve enlivening years. The story of Zoe and her family is
deeply in line with our mission, our core values and our aesthetic. It is an unknown play that we rediscovered, and brought to the midwest for the very first time. It features a great many of our ensemble artists, many treasured guest artists and an eye-opening lead performance by an emerging young actress. It is one of our most expansive productions to date, yet it remains disarmingly intimate. Within that 2 hours and 45 minutes are all the ideas, the artists, the stories and the values that we’ve been nurturing and developing over the past twelve seasons. A SCENT OF FLOWERS is full of life and mystery, language and family … it is a risky show full of uncompromising theatricality and disconcerting intimacy, and as a final production for BackStage Theatre Company, it is a deeply felt and enlivening statement of who we are and who we tried to be.
A SCENT OF FLOWERS is the final production for BackStage Theatre Company, and it is currently running Thursdays – Sundays until August 25 at the Building Stage. Come celebrate with us.
We want to say goodbye.
-Matthew Reeder, Artistic Director