Veloudos urges patrons to support OneFundBoston

An open letter from Spiro Veloudos, President of the Producers Association of New England Area Theatres:

My Friends, Colleagues and Patrons

The horrendous events surrounding the Boston Marathon have given us all great pause. We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences and prayers to the victims of Monday’s events. Those events have caused us to reflect on our community and our companies.

I have been reflecting on the events of 9/11 in regard to this week’s tragedy. On 9/11 the Lyric was rehearsing Sunday in the Park with George. We called the company and gave them the option to NOT come in. Only one person (then a spot operator but now still a friend) didn’t come in. Her brother was in the military. Upon later reflection, we all thought that being together, doing something that we love in preparation for an audience, was extremely healing for us.

Spiro Veloudos

Spiro Veloudos

Last night, we began rehearsals for “On the Town.” There was a very emotional moment during that rehearsal as we began our work on the wonderful song of love and loss, Some other Time. This morning I received a picture of Leonard Bernstein, the composer of “On the Town,” with the following words:
This will be our reply to violence:
to make music more intensely,
more beautifully,
more devotedly than ever before.
— Leonard Bernstein
Just exchange the word music for theatre and I think you have what most of us in Boston Theatre are thinking today.

The Lyric Stage Company will, during this weekend’s performances of “By the Way, Meet Vera Stark,” be taking collections for OneFundBoston.org, a clearing house for donations, created by Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, which are being solicited in support of the victims of Monday’s tragedy. Our neighbor, The John Hancock Insurance Company, has committed to $1,000,000 for the fund. Assuredly we will not even approach that figure, but as all of us in the not-for-profit sector understand, “every dollar counts.”

As President of The Producers Association of New England Theatres, I am asking my brother and sister theatres who are currently in production to do the same. It is my hope and challenge that not only the NEAT theatres, but all theatres — commercial or not-for-profit, mainstream and fringe, large or small — will also consider doing a similar appeal. Individuals can also make a contribution directly to the website: OneBoston.org

Terrorism wins when we stop living our lives. The week following 9/11, every theatre and performing arts group assembled in what was a parking lot (now the W Hotel) in the theatre district. We raised our voices to sing “God Bless America” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” two songs that mark what I certainly believe in and live for.

On behalf of the Board and Staff of The Lyric Stage Company we offer our sincerest sympathies to the victims of this truly senseless act.

Sincerely,

Spiro Veloudos
President
The Producers Association of New England Area Theatres
Producing Artistic Director, The Lyric Stage Company of Boston

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