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A Slippery Slope

Winter's savage beauty, captured by Rob Harding

Winter’s savage beauty, captured by Rob Harding

I have a garage.

I use it all the time. Don’t even think about it. At least I didn’t until this weekend. As nature coated our world in half an inch of icy splendour, as I watched tires spin and scrapers scrape, as I drove past cars groaning under the weight of fallen branches it dawned on me – I think I take that garage for granted.

And it got me thinking about the ways in which the innate value of things can be lost on us until a moment of crisis. As Joni Mitchell and glam rockers Cinderella so astutely observed, “you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” And so, while it might seem more appropriate for a Thanksgiving blog, on the Eve of Christmas we thought we’d take a moment or two to acknowledge and embrace the many things of value in Studio 180’s world. It doesn’t storm every day, but that doesn’t mean you should take for granted all that you have at your disposal to weather the tempests that might come your way.

We’re grateful for our Core Artistic Team
Studio 180 operates with a distinct and highly productive creative model. Our Core Artistic Team of Derrick Chua, Jessica Greenberg, Joel Greenberg, Mark McGrinder and Kimwun Perehinec collaboratively shape and nurture our vision and ensure that we achieve and maintain the lofty artistic goals we set for ourselves. We find strength and solidarity rather than compromise in our quest for consensus, and our dynamic mix of personalities and personal experience brings energy and insight to all that we do. A pat on the back to be sure, but it would be easy to take this distinct operating model for granted. We don’t.

Jenna, Roxanne and Byron get in the holiday spirit at the office.

Jenna, Roxanne and Byron get in the holiday spirit at the office.

We’re grateful for our Staff
Studio 180 has grown considerably over the past few years, and as we strive to enhance our administrative and fundraising capacity we have welcomed into the fold a dynamic group of individuals who compliment our collaborative spirit and enable us to focus on the big picture. Our stalwart for many years now is our General Manager Kesta Graham who has guided us through season after season of opportunities and challenges. Kesta is taking a leave from Studio 180 as she prepares for the birth of her second child and, while it seems unkind to equate her to a garage or imminent motherhood to an ice storm, there’s continuity in the fact that her departure makes us deeply aware of the great value she brings to our organization and how easy it is to take advantage of something that protects you day in and day out. Kesta’s departure means even more responsibilities for the rest of our administrative team. Jenna Harris and Roxanne Melliza will be filling the void left by Kesta and Byron Abalos continues to bolster our fundraising efforts as our Head of Development, a new position that has paid immediate dividends thanks to Byron’s personable nature and boundless enthusiasm.

We’re grateful for our Board
Recent years have shown us the potential volatility of a strained relationship between an Arts organization and their Board so we’re grateful to have an ever-growing squad of Board members with a diverse range of skills and a vested interest in our continued success. We’re particularly grateful to have the estimable leadership of Colleen Blake in the position of Chair.

We’re grateful for our Partners
We’ve been very fortunate to form mutually beneficial partnerships with many organizations in the past and continue the trend in our current season. Buddies in Bad Times, Canadian Stage, Acting Up Stage, Mirvish Productions and The Theatre Centre have all contributed to our success as an organization and we’re indebted to all those we’ve had the privilege to collaborate with. We’re looking forward to exploring our Long Term Relationship with The Theatre Centre and to the myriad opportunities that may present themselves along the way.

A packed house at the Panasonic Theatre

A packed house at the Panasonic Theatre

We’re grateful for our Audience
Audience is a broad term, but virtually everything we do must be consumed in some way, shape or form. So to everyone who has attended our shows, read a blog, attended a panel discussion, joined our mailing list, visited us on Twitter or Facebook or been a part of a Studio 180 IN CLASS workshop, we thank you for participating in the creative process.

We’re grateful for our Supporters
Support comes in so many forms and we never want to take for granted the number of individual supporters, family foundations, corporations and governmental agencies who bolster our efforts. Your faith in our work both permits and inspires us to challenge ourselves in all that we do.

We’re grateful for the Artists we work with
We are constantly awed by the Artists we have the opportunity to work with and by the immeasurable generosity on offer in their work. On stage or off, in production, workshops, readings or special events, artists are the lifeblood of theatrical creation. We are particularly indebted to all the Studio 180 alumni who volunteered to be part of our extraordinary 10th Anniversary reading of The Laramie Project.

Perhaps the most gratifying (and mortifying) thing of all is the knowledge that, no matter how long a list we compile, there will invariably be those we miss. We’re both daunted by and appreciative of the luxury of limitless gratitude and promise that it won’t take an ice storm or any other sort of calamitous event to inspire our heartfelt thanks.

To everyone who shapes our world, thank you and Happy Holidays.

  • A co-founder of Studio 180, Mark is a Toronto-based actor, writer and producer. As a member of our Core Artistic Team, Mark coordinates the company’s new play development initiatives and is one of our Studio 180 IN CLASS workshop leaders. More posts by Mark McGrinder

One Response to A Slippery Slope

  1. Mark McGrinder says:

    I omitted one of the things I am most grateful for this year. Thank you to David Storch for teaching me how to tie my shoes properly. I never realized I didn’t know how until he showed me the light.

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