Gambling & Volunteers

Forget dog-fighting; forget betting on basketball; the most dangerous form of wagering a lot and losing your shirt in the process – or, alternately, going for broke and clasping the Brass Ring of Accomplishment – is producing for the American stage.

And here’s an adage which may or may not be true: “Build It and They Will Come.” Or, as I’ve augmented it over the years, “Build It Well, and There’s More of a Likelihood They’ll Actually Show Up.”

But what if you “Build It Really Well, and then You Get a Great, Very Rewarding Initial Run, and Then You Close It Down For Three Weeks Because You Have To and then Open It Back Up For a Limited Three Week Engagement, Do You Stand a Snowball’s Chance Of People Coming In The Kind Of Numbers You Need To Make The Experiment a Success or at the Very Least, Worthwhile?”

In short, will this (Re)Build experiment bring Kevin Costner out of retirement into our Field of Dreams to see Pangs of the Messiah, or will he, like most Washingtonians right now, be away and then be so swamped upon return that he’s too busy to buy a ticket to the show he missed in July and, to top it all off, become so immersed he forgets to subscribe!?

Let’s put this late night anxiety another way: Two days back from vacation and I’m worried about ticket sales. Oh, but—Jane Horwitz to the rescue—there’s an interview with Motti Lerner to come out next week. Jane promises that it’s a very provocative interview that picks up some of the provocative themes she wrote about in her follow-up article to My Name is Rachel Corrie at CATF this summer. So maybe a little controversy stirred by our playwright will be a good thing for business, which has gone into vacation mode itself.

It’s a throw of the dice. We had a little hit on our hands and we closed it because it was August and we had to and now we’re opening it back up with performances starting on Tuesday, and we need to start selling at a much more serious clip. Have I “angsted” enough? Do gambler’s angst? Not on “The World Series of Poker,” they don’t.

Here’s what else could help improve our odds at the table: A volunteer or two to help distribute more postcards across the city at choice locations. Our staff is just back from vacation and we’ve done much but haven’t gotten nearly enough of these cards – both for Pangs and for Accident—around town. And we’ve got thousands of subscription brochures that need to be dropped off at key synagogues and bookstores and in office mail boxes of affinity organizations.

Anybody wanna step forward to lend a hand?

We’re paying for ads in papers – big ones – good ones. But no one’s biting yet. So we’re taking other actions. We’re shouting out for help and we’re hopeful our community will respond. Worries-worries. The wake up call from the productive vacation. But that’s hardly a tragedy. We’re much more looking forward to the stunning recreations by our Israeli artists in collaboration with their American cousins.

As we get ready for Monday’s reunion with the cast and a brush-up rehearsal, we’ll have some inspiring words to share with you from our director in Israel. That’s to come in our next posting.

So a new season of Power Ball jackpot has begun. Volunteers have been summoned. We will look into increase our odds. We will make more calls, drop postcards, brochures, place ads. We will play through our hand. It’s a strong one. Let us hope we make our nut. As we pray for a pair of Kings.