President’s Blog – June 2020

As Charlotte so prolifically said to Wilbur – “Salutations!” It’s little more than a fancy way to say hello, but after the last couple of months, I feel we’re entitled to spice some things up around here.

I could bombard you with some gloom and doom, but I’m going to try for an Oreo here – start with some of that boring cookie part, hit ya with some cream filling (Double Stuf, y’all), and then close out with some additional business.

And for those of you who PREFER the cookie? We don’t have time to discuss your preferences, but feel free to email me and explain to me why you’re wrong…

Season ticket holders for the 2019-2020 slate of shows will have already received a message, but we at Pull-Tight have made the difficult decision NOT to sell season tickets for 2020-2021. It did not feel appropriate for any party involved – our patrons, our volunteers, or our actors – to promise a set season and then have to play “wait and see” again with the current uncertainty of the pandemic. We still plan to provide high quality entertainment and productions as able; advertising blitzes will occur intermittently throughout the next year to keep you apprised of all show offerings.

Even though we’ve been dark at the theater, we hope to be a beacon of light elsewhere in the community. One of those bright spots is our Facebook page, where you can see special highlights of active PT members in our “Meet the Players” series of web videos. You can learn about many of your favorite performers at the theater and hear their stories of involvement, including Heather Bottoms, Jeanne Drone, Dan Kassis, Iain Macpherson, Johnny Peppers, Rachel Sinclair, and Beth Woodruff! A special thanks to Savannah Aiello for helping to get that going! We aim to feature more of our acting community, so stay tuned!

Even in these turbulent times, we at the theater have been staying busy from afar! May 3rd marked our annual election of directors for our board, and we are excited to announce the new members for 2020-2021 – Lynda Gibbs, Carmela Hofstee, and Lenny West! Each will serve a three-year term, and Carmela will also act as the newly-minted Parliamentarian for the 2020-2021 year! Click HERE to read more about this historic election year.

Special thanks to our outgoing members – Sean Aiello, Leslie Berra, and Stephanie Dillard have been integral to our growth over the last few years, and we appreciate all their help and support in Pull-Tight’s successes.

We’re also hard at work on this year’s Knot Awards! Although we had to cancel our in-person ceremony, that’s no reason we can’t party in lockdown! Committee chairs Dan Kassis and Beth Woodruff have done an amazing job at maintaining an even keel through it all. Our Virtual Knot Awards will be held on June 27th at 7 PM, so save the date! Access opportunities will be sent to our active artist membership and posted on various social platforms as we near the date. I promise you, it’ll be like the Academy Awards, only shorter and without the commercials.

As we usher in recognition of our past season, I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight our Youth Guilds. JYAG built from the success of its stage combat workshop in February to offer a digital Zoom scene production of Tom Sawyer in May. Although March and April didn’t see any meetings, that didn’t deter those dedicated individuals wanting to get back into the arts! JYAG will take another little “hiatus” until August – previously scheduled, though. If you have any questions about the program, email at their new address:  PullTightJYAG@gmail.com.

Moving forward into 2020-2021, we at Pull-Tight seek to amplify all voices. The events of the world have put into perspective our need to empathize and to listen, and what better place to do that than on the stage? Although we may not have an announced season, we still seek to bring you the best that Franklin has to offer, and we look at these past few months as a chance to refresh, to reward the good and to reevaluate how we work as a whole. There’s much chance and potential for growth in the coming year, and we encourage you to join us.


All the best,
Matt Grimes
President, Pull-Tight Board of Directors
james.m.grimes@vanderbilt.edu