Ashley's Year-End Reflection

December 25, 2018



Double-You TF….


Hello, WTFers! As the end of the year approaches, I am driven to reflect.


2018 was a year of growth and revelations for both me and WTF as a whole. I directed our first musical, Goblin Market, a show which I have been passionate about since I discovered it, and we got to integrate ballet, singing, and elaborate costuming - three of my loves on one stage! We premiered Danai Gurira’s Eclipsed in the Southeast, and I got to see audiences react emotionally to that great work of literature. We also produced shows in Raleigh, Durham, and Carrboro reaching audiences across the Triangle. I was consistently surprised and delighted by each production even having seen all of them in the development stages, and we navigated all the usual ups and downs that come along producing theatre while continuing to create theatre that showed women being heroic. But one of my favorite acts of heroism was over 24 hours long.


We’ve been doing the Occupy The Stage event since WTF’s beginning, but this is the first year we tried incorporating that event with the workshops we hold every year. It felt like going to a sleepaway camp that was all about theatre. In one room a play would be happening, and in another people would be learning burlesque! Or stage combat! Or the basics of intimacy direction! Or being coached on monologues! Or having insightful discussions about mentorship! It was an incredible feeling. For those of you who were able to participate, I hope you felt some of the same electricity I did, and for those of you who couldn’t, I hope you get to experience it next year! I can’t give away our secrets, but trust me, it’s going to be even more incredible than last year.


One of the most important things that we did this year was pay our artists. In fact, thanks in large part to your support, and the support of the United Arts Council, and the Orange County Arts Council, we were able to pay our artists more than $16,000.00 total. Artists, particularly women, are drastically underpaid and undervalued in our society, so this year, as a part of your end-of-year giving, I’m asking you to double down on your support of our women artists. Are you a Patreon supporter of WTF? If so, could you afford to double your monthly contribution? For you, that might be $2 instead of $1, but for us, it’s costumes, lighting designers, and theatre created by women. If you haven’t joined our Patreon community yet, now’s the time! Patreon supporters get fun inside info about our process, and they are our core supporters who we know that we can count on. And if that's not rewarding enough, they’ll also be the first ones to know about our season next year!


Which, of course, leads me to how excited I am about 2019 and what WTF will be doing. We’ve already announced that our theme will be “Women Are Wicked,” but what you don’t know yet is just HOW wicked. I can’t announce all our shows yet (Partially because I don’t know them all! We need your pitches and votes first!) but I can tell you that there will be murderers, freaks, aliens, and moral quandaries aplenty in the shows I’ve already selected as Artistic Director. Sometimes, in order to get things done, women have to get a little wicked, and I can’t wait to share a little of my wickedness with you.