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Dear Supporters of DFT,
For the past two months we have been in rehearsals for our final show of the 2011-2012 season, “Between the Bells,” a script written by DFT artistic director Jenny Justice about experiences involving multi-cultural student groups in middle and high schools. We are excited about this play and committed to producing it. However, at the present time we must delay that production until November 2012.
Durham Family Theatre is dedicated to creating quality theatre within an intentionally multi-racial, multi-ethnic and intergenerational community. Today our artistic director informed us that two of our actors are unable to continue in the play. With so few days left before the show opens, we have concluded that there is not time to replace these actors nor can we perform the show without them.
Jenny has worked on this production for more than a year – writing the script, re-writing the script in response to an 8-week DFT workshop with Durham, NC middle and high school students, designing the production, assembling a cast and crew, producing all elements of the show and directing the rehearsals. The decision to postpone the play until November 2012 was a
difficult one to make, especially in light of how much so many families and actors have already given to the process, but it was the right decision.
With that decision we are also creating policy safeguards to prevent this situation from repeating. The policy will make clear DFT’s commitment to quality productions and the ethical theatre behavior called for to follow-through on that commitment. We believe this new policy is a positive step forward in meeting our dearest goals.
Thank you to everyone for your hard work and for your support of this show. We hope that the necessity of postponing the production of “Between the Bells” will be understood not as a lack of commitment to honoring our promises, but as an expression of how truly we mean to keep them.
Sincerely, The DFT Board of Directors
Sybil Bond Dorsey, Ute Wittmann Pair and Tara-Whitney Rison