Editor's Note: This letter is in response to the open letter to WaterTower Theatre's board that was published today on TheaterJones. You can read it here.
We appreciate your input and share your concerns for WaterTower Theatre. Right now the Board’s primary concern is saving the Theater. It is important to have transparency in this process, and that includes financial transparency. You are right that we experienced a significant amount of critical acclaim in the past two years, but unfortunately, that did not always translate into financial success, and we are now dealing with significant issues in that regard. We will share the details of our situation with any of you that would care to listen.
The decision to leave WaterTower Theatre was entirely Joanie Schultz’s, and while we regret her departure, we are moving forward. The Board has committed to being a working board and has put in countless hours and significant amounts of their own money to see that this theatre survives. While we appreciate your artistic concerns we know you realize we have numerous constituencies that we must serve, so we have to consider their needs as well. We have patrons, subscribers, citizens, the Town of Addison, theater staff, and even casual attendees to whom we have obligations. We always want to be proud of the product we put on stage and how we treat the artists that come to work here because you are an important constituency to us also. Our goal continues to be one of inclusivity in order to exhibit the very best the artistic community has to offer.
Many of the board members have had a relationship with this theatre for decades and are keenly aware of its importance to the state’s artistic community. You can be assured that we are following a process to find a new Managing Artistic Director that is fair and inclusive just like we did when we hired Joanie.
The legacy of this theater does not belong to any one person or group of people. It spans some 40 years, and like most theaters sometimes it has been a roller coaster ride, but hundreds of people have contributed to its success. We have enjoyed support for the theater through the generosity of Addison and people from surrounding communities. They appreciate our status as a professional theater and you, the artists, have made that possible.
The Board continues to invite input from our subscribers, the Women of WaterTower, our Corporate Council, the artistic community and the Town of Addison and its citizens. We know that each has a unique set of interests and we want to be respectful of all of them. Thank you for sharing your views with us and your wishes for our success. We will do our very best to continue to merit your trust.
The Board of WaterTower Theatre