September 6, 2010

One of the strengths my friend, Donna Glick (director of education at the Huntington Theatre in Boston,) sees in me is as a programmer. Programming is the art of accurately observing a need in the community you serve and helping to actively answer that need.

In other words, when I decide the class topics/curriculums for DFT’s fall 2010 season, that’s a program. (And I’ve been happy to get positive feedback on the offerings so far.) When we select the plays for DFT to produce this year, that’s programming (and the student actors at Durham Arts Council loved both plays so that’s a good sign.) All the programs are evaluated next to the DFT mission statement; to be sure we keep going in the right direction.

I understand why Donna sees this as a strength of mine, because a good many program ideas have been successful over the years – the Women In Theatre Festival, the Three Apples Storytelling Festival, Storytellers in Concert, the Provincetown AIDS Ministry … I hope programming also proves a strength while growing the DFT.

Program ideas happen like this for me, like fireworks in my mind. For a while I think about an overall area of need very logically. Then, in one moment, I see a small, quick flash of light and an idea appears. Just like those cartoons only the light isn’t contained in a bulb. It goes into my stomach as excitement and charges my limbs with energy for action.

That happened over the weekend when I thought of the Young Artists Poster Design Contest for publicity art for “Alice in Wonderland, a musical” (DFT’s show in March 2011/auditions 1/8 & 1/10/2011) I spent most of today creating guidelines and an announcement flier for the design contest.

I LOVE the idea of involving visual artists in DFT so early in our first year. It’s right in keeping with the DFT mission to nurture the skills and talents of North Carolina designers of all ages. I should be able to make a blog page giving all the details by Wednesday of this week (I’m waiting to hear back from a few of my teaching visual artist friends about what they think of the guidelines.) So check back for that new program of the rapidly evolving Durham Family Theatre.

Have you registered for classes yet? How about now?

Warmly, Jenny

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