Happy New Year from Tri-State Actors Theater!

For the past several months — at our events and in our written communications — we have been hinting about our emerging plans for upcoming seasons.  That’s because we’ve been engaged in a strategic planning process to determine how Tri-State will move forward.  Our objective is to grow through enhancing our offerings to our regional audiences and ensure our ability to do so for many years to come.  We have made strong progress, and we are pleased to give you the good news about what’s happening. 

First of all, we will be leaving the historic Crescent Theater in Sussex Borough. Since 2002, when we settled in at the Crescent as our home, it has been the exclusive site for our primary activities:

            1. Presenting main stage plays — from Shakespeare to Patsy Cline;
2. Running our summer Student Intern Training Program and productions;
3. Presenting a New Plays Reading Series each season to provide playwrights
with the opportunity to hear and develop new scripts — several of which have
had premiere productions at Tri-State;
4. Providing acting classes for children, teens and adults; and
5. Staging a variety of Special Events. 

Our presence on Main Street has been good for the town, and it’s tough to leave our friends here.  However, we have found that being at the Crescent has limited our geographic reach. In addition, the cost of operating and maintaining the property is prohibitive.   By relocating, we hope to free up substantial resources for ambitious productions and to reach a wider audience.  

We are currently engaged in preliminary discussions with other venues that might serve as a permanent home for Tri-State.  Those discussions are very promising, although it may take a while for a formal agreement to be reached since the many facets of such a partnership must be worked out with care.

In the meantime—

              In 2011, we are doubling the number of our play readings from four to eight, and we will stage them in
various locations throughout the region.  In addition to new plays, our professional actors will perform
readings of established plays as well.    On Saturday, February 19, the Open Book Bookstore
and Internet Cafe in Newton will host our first play reading of the year, THE RED BALLOON,
by Matthew Gutschick.
  As we finalize scheduling for these popular events, you’ll hear more.
  On March 12, Tri-State will be a part of the New Jersey Theater Alliance’s annual statewide Family
                  Week at the Theatre and The Stages Festival with our revival of HEY, HO PINOCCHIO – to be
presented at Sussex-Wantage Middle School.
On March 26, as  part of the state-wide Stages Festival, Scotty Watson will teach his Improv
Comedy Class 
at Sussex County College’s Performing Arts Center.  Scotty, who has been
recognized as one of the nation’s outstanding Improv teachers, will conduct a free workshop for
SCCC students, faculty, and the general public ages 15 and up.
For our summer 2011 Student Intern Training Program and production, we plan to move to an
attractive, convenient location – arrangements are being fired up right now.
In addition to the Intern production we plan to present one or two main stage productions during
the second half of the year
             We will continue to offer our popular Special Events presenting a variety of music styles and comedy
throughout the year.
  We are continuing to sponsor acting classes for children, teens and adults, run by outstanding
professionals.  For now, these classes will take place at locations in the Sussex-Wantage area;
however, we will be responsive if there is demand to expand geographically in the future.

One other piece of good news – The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, New Jersey’s preeminent arts funding organization and a long-time supporter of Tri-State, has recently provided us with a $10,000 grant to help us during this transitional period.  The Foundation also has issued an additional matching grant challenge — if we can raise $5,000 in donations from other sources, they will match it! 

We are so very pleased with this expression of confidence in us, and the confidence that our friends will step forward at this time.  With the New Year underway, and a lot of great activity on the horizon, we hope that you will participate in this fundraising effort. 

On behalf of the Tri-State Actors Theater Board of Trustees and Staff — Thanks for your continuing presence at our events and for your financial support.   Let’s keep the area’s performing arts scene alive and thriving in 2011.  Act now — and the impact of your donation will be doubled!  When you donate, mark your donation for “MATCHING GRANT.”

Our best regards to you.

Paul Meacham, Artistic Director         Donald DeVore, President, Board of Trustees