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Creating Connection Campaign Launch: A Letter from Debra Merowitz and Audrey Birenbaum
Donate and join us in raising $20,000 before January 1st to help us in Creating Connection! Your support enables us to continue and strengthen our Beyond the Stage programming to help us nurture friendships and spark conversations through community outreach events. Help us ensure that the conversation doesn’t end when the curtain comes down.
Read Debra Merowitz and Audrey Birenbaum’s letter below to learn how you can contribute to building these connections through our programming. Be a part of the discussion.
Debra and Audrey are Studio 180 Community Members who connected through Studio 180 EATS this past summer.
You can help create connections and nurture friendship through theatre.
Our names are Debra Merowitz and Audrey Birenbaum, and we want to share our story of newfound friendship through our Studio 180 connection. In July, we both attended a brand new event called Studio 180 EATS. This was an event organized by Studio 180 for a family-style dinner and discussion, which centred around big questions provoked by themes present in Studio 180’s upcoming productions of Sweat and Indecent.
Throughout the evening, we were able to meet new people who also engage with Studio 180’s work in various ways, from teachers who participate in IN CLASS, artists from past productions, to audience members. Each person had a different perspective to offer to the conversation, and it was a wonderful space to engage with like-minded people who share our common interests of theatre and issues of social relevance. It was also an opportunity to engage with Studio 180’s work in an innovative way, and connect with community members we might never have met.
In fact, if it hadn’t been for 180 EATS, we wouldn’t have connected with each other. We had both come to this event alone, which could have been somewhat intimidating. Knowing little more than that it was going to be a space for discussion, we had both hoped to use it as a chance to meet those with similar interests. We love to go to the theatre but had both been going alone for quite some time. Given the circumstances, we thought that this would be an opportunity to meet somebody like-minded to go with in the future.
As it turns out, we might have known somebody there after all. I, Audrey, recognized Debra right off the bat. We started a discussion, and after a bit of discussing why the other seemed familiar, we both discovered we went to the same summer camp growing up. From there, we were able to find more common connections and bond over our shared interests. This event allowed for us to make a connection that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. Since 180 EATS, we’ve continued talking, and we can now look forward to having somebody to attend future Studio 180 events with. We in fact attended Studio 180’s IN DEVELOPMENT series together and were excited to be able to share our experiences and continue the discussions we had started through 180 EATS.
What made this connection possible was the nature of Studio 180’s program, and how inclusive and attentive the discussions were. It allowed us to talk with staff and other community members about common interests, significant issues, and connect on a level deeper than simply through watching a production. Studio 180’s Beyond the Stage initiatives allow for audiences to engage with material in a new way, while also building connections to other members of the Studio 180 community through programming such as 180 EATS, as well as post-show talkbacks, pre-show chats, and art exhibits that further engagement with MAINSTAGE and STUDIO shows.
Studio 180 has set a goal of raising $20,000 before the year is over. We ask you to consider donating to Studio 180 to further the development of their Beyond the Stage initiatives and help offer opportunities to spark important conversations and bring people together.
As an added incentive, Studio 180 Theatre’s Board of Directors has pledged $2,500 to match new, increased or automated online monthly donations, so the impact of your gift can be amplified today.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and for supporting work that brings people together, and sparks connections like ours.
Debra and Audrey
Studio 180 Theatre Community Members
We are very grateful for your support. Studio 180’s Creating Connection campaign runs until December 31. Help us reach our target of raising $20,000 by donating by cheque sent to 19 Madison Ave, Toronto, ON, M5R 2S2, by phone at 416-962-1800, or online here. Click here to learn more about the benefits of giving.
Photos: (top) Creating Connection Graphic (photo of IN DEVELOPMENT Reading by Dahlia Katz); (left) Debra Merowitz and Audrey Birenbaum attend a Fall 2019 IN DEVELOPMENT Reading (photo by Bryn Kennedy); (right) Studio 180 Theatre supporters attend 180 EATS in June 2019 (photo by Rahul Gujral).