Dear Friend of Mill Mountain Theatre,
When Charlie and I moved to Roanoke from the Washington suburbs 25 years ago, my first ties to our new community were a library card and season tickets at Mill Mountain Theatre. The fact that Roanoke has a professional drama company was – and still is – a big factor in making this the place we want to live for a long time.
Whenever the theatre asked playgoers for feedback, I always indicated my interest in “edgier” and challenging shows, so I was delighted when the Wadron Fringe Series was added to the schedule this year. OK, what IS a “Fringe Series”? In the theatre industry ‘fringe’ describes contemporary plays that may stretch the boundaries between actors and audiences, be about issues that may be uncomfortable for us to talk about or simply present new ideas for discussion.
The 2019 Waldron Fringe Series will present Next to Normal in June and Every Brilliant Thing in November. Both are thoughtful plays with a contemporary edge and deal with mental health issues. There is, indeed, a strong audience for this kind of theatre.
In addition, I am asking that you join me in forming a new support group to enable MMT to keep these Fringe shows on its schedule for many years to come. Friends of the Fringe can be a significant and influential voice in our community of theatre lovers for new and provocative plays.
During my years as Development Director at The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge I definitely saw that the arts need strong advocates. That’s what Friends of the Fringe are – advocates and supporters for “unconventional” theatre!
How can we, as Friends of the Fringe, help MMT?
- Recommend plays to MMT’s Board of Directors Artistic Committee for consideration in future seasons.
- Facilitate post-performance talk back sessions with audiences at Waldron Fringe Series performances.
- Provide hospitality for actors, directors and designers in Fringe plays and discuss the plays with these professionals.
- Become an effective support group encouraging ticket sales and donations among friends who share your passion for challenging drama.
Want to become a Friend of the Fringe? Please contact John Levin, MMT’s development director, at 342-5761 or firstname.lastname@example.org, so we can continue efforts to preserve and grow this valued addition to our cultural community. Together we will devise ways to help develop a vehicle for shows that matter to us.
Member of Mill Mountain Theatre audience for 25 years