|Do not try to live forever. You will not succeed.|
George Bernard Shaw, “Preface on Doctors”, 1909
When we founded the Quotidian Theatre Company, twenty-three years ago, we had no illusions of living forever, nor of our theater lasting forever, but we did hope to have a good, long run. We’re pretty sure that we have done that.
And now, with great regret, we must inform you, our subscribers, donors, supporters, and friends, that the Quotidian Theatre Company will soon be going dark.
As you know, our production of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts, which was to have taken place this spring, had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We will not attempt to re-mount it. We have offered our season subscribers several options for the tickets which they had purchased in advance for Ghosts.
We do intend, however, to present the final show of the 2019-20 season, Horton Foote’s The Day Emily Married, most likely in the spring of 2021. This will be the last Quotidian production.
During those twenty-three years, we have achieved much – though certainly not all – of what we set out to do, and have had a great deal of satisfaction in doing it.
We have also had the good fortune of a devoted following: patrons, subscribers, and donors who were willing to buy into our vision that theater doesn’t have to be over-the-top to be dramatic, that the dramas of everyday life – quotidian life – are capable of holding their own on any stage.
You may be wondering, why now?
A decision like this doesn’t come all at once, nor even in a single season. The crisis at hand might be reason enough, but we have also had to assimilate the financial setbacks resulting from our truncated 2019 season when we moved to the Randolph Road Theater for a single production, then back to the renovated Writer’s Center.
Underneath all of this, working away is the toll that time exacts on the human energy that is so indispensable to theater.
Behind every performance – the “two hours’ traffic of our stage” – lie weeks of rehearsal, months of planning, and, in many cases, years of burning desire to put that particular piece in front of an audience. That desire never really goes away. We would love to have done one more season, one more production, one more performance. That’s how it always it is if you love theater – and we do. But we have taken stock, and have decided, after 57 productions and 915 performances, that it’s time to bring the curtain down.
In 1922, theater critic George Jean Nathan wrote, “Good drama is anything that interests an intelligently emotional group of persons assembled in an illuminated hall.” We take our leave with infinite gratitude to the intelligently emotional audiences who have made our particular kind of theater a reality. Without you, none of this would have been possible.
Although we don’t have complete audience figures for all 23 years, we do know that since the beginning of the 2013-14 season – almost a third of our existence – we have had a total of 15,616 patrons at Quotidian productions. Many of those patrons have stayed with us for years. We are tremendously grateful for that loyalty.
We are also gratified that Quotidian has been, for so many, the kind of theater where you could linger in the lobby after a show, catch the actors or the director on their way out (whether they knew them personally or not) and feel free to talk about what you had just seen. Be assured, the benefits of these exchanges were mutual.
We will miss that. We will miss all of it. Above all, we will miss you.
Quotidian Theatre Company