Matt Grimes

President’s Blog: May 2021

All systems are go – we at Pull-Tight are planning our return!

Okay, let’s pump the brakes for just a second and reveal what we can tell you thus far.

It has been over a year since we closed our theater doors. The Real Inspector Hound, directed by Tom Gregg, had to press pause, and who knew how long that VHS tape could hold? Our youth guilds suspended activities. With barely a peep, our second home and arts venues across the nation slowed to a dull roar. Ask any actor – that’s just not in our nature!

But with vaccines now rolling out and optimism beginning to peek back into our daily routines, we on the board felt it was time to begin prep work toward a relaunch. While we want to underscore that everything in these stages is tentative and subject to change, we also want to send a message of hope.

We also want to ban the phrase “in these unprecedented times” … but, one step at an “unprecedented time.”

First off, we plan to press play and present The Real Inspector Hound as the first show of our 2021-2022 season! The opening date is set for September 10, barring any incident or issue. Thank you to Tom Gregg and his dedicated cast and crew for hanging tight during all the ups and downs.

We will also mount four additional productions: The Curious Savage, Crimes of the Heart, Madame Buttermilk, and The Elephant Man. These shows feature smaller casts, and will provide for ample distancing both onstage and backstage, should guidelines make that necessary.

Social distancing and seating capacity caps will be in effect whenever necessary. The season will begin under these provisions as guidelines mandate. For this reason, we cannot offer a season ticket this year, as the number of available seats could fluctuate on a show-by-show basis. We aim to offer normal season ticket opportunities for all current season ticket holders in Spring 2022. We will announce other pandemic restrictions closer to the season’s September start.

I would be remiss if I did not thank some key players who have been instrumental along the way.

  • A hearty heap-full of gratitude to Johnny Peppers and Heather Bottoms, keeping our patrons and Pull-Tight families connected and aware of recent developments over the past year.
  • Much appreciation to Iain Macpherson and Tim Massey for checking on the theater and assisting with maintenance needs.
  • Hip-hip-hooray to Stephanie Dillard for aiding in the renewal of our performance contracts for 2021-2022. It’s not a sexy job, but someone’s gotta do it. And Stephanie does it with such verve and panache!
  • A rowdy round of applause to Pat Street and Dan Kassis for working on the restructuring of our website during this downtime (set to launch in June), and to Jeanne Drone and Savannah Aiello for maintaining our social media presence.
  • Kudos to our COVID response team – Lynda Gibbs, Carmela Hofstee, and Pat Street – for updating us on current expectations and best practices to institute at our theater.
  • Let’s hear it for Lenny West, JK Gregg, and Laurel Aiello for beginning the daunting task of costume room clean-out. I don’t envy you!
  • Give it up, too, for Sarah Kieffner, Beth Woodruff, and Ricki Keckley for donor appreciation efforts. The financial gifts over the course of the past year have been a gentle reminder of generosity in the Pull-Tight family.
  • A final shoutout to the Banquet Committee, who have now quickly become a Picnic Committee! Dan Kassis, Beth Woodruff, Sarah Kieffner, and Chelsea Craig are all aces in my book. (By the by, that picnic celebration will take place August 28. Use that calendar accordingly.)

I’m sure there are plenty more I have managed to miss. So, to everyone who has been a steady force in the Pull-Tight community, know that you are valued and appreciated by all of us.

Keep an eye out for future announcements regarding our plans, and we’ll see you on opening night.

Matt Grimes
President, Pull-Tight Board of Directors