Year-end always brings reflection, and 2019 has been a full year for Kudzu Playhouse. We are thankful for so much – enjoying incredible fun with our mainstage shows; premiering Shakespeare in the Park in DeSoto County; making new friends at our dinner theatre performances; seeing the spark of delight in the eyes of summer campers as they step on stage for the first time; watching with awe as our STARS students grow and develop in their love for live theatre – so many amazing memories.
2019 also brought some significant challenges and changes, including damage to numerous sets and props from flooding in the warehouse, uncooperative weather forcing last-minute relocation for our first Shakespeare in the Park show, changes with the venue where we have dinner theater that impacts the scheduling of future productions, and finally, being asked to vacate our warehouse space entirely, resulting in having to discard and walk away from many of our larger set pieces and building materials. For our humble, all-volunteer, non-profit group, these have been some significant challenges, for sure.
However, like the vine chosen as our name, Kudzu Playhouse is hard to kill. We embrace challenges and change as opportunities for growth. We are proud to be DeSoto County’s oldest community theatre group, and, given a little time and fertile soil, we will thrive and spread. We are passionate about our community and committed to the many friends we have made and the goals we have set for our future – both short and long-term.
As the new decade opens and after considerable thought and discussion, the Board and I have made the heartfelt and painstaking decision to dial back some of our efforts in the coming year so that we can appropriately focus on those things that are critical to solidifying our future. This does not mean we are going away!
We are incredibly excited about our summer 2020 production of “Matilda: The Musical” and cannot wait to get started on that show soon! Our STARS program and summer camps continue to grow and thrive, and we are thrilled to be able to provide the opportunity for so many young people to learn and develop their love for theatre. While we are not currently planning other productions for 2020, we will evaluate every potential opportunity relative to the circumstances at the time to determine the best path forward. We plan to be back with a full schedule and renewed vigor in 2021.
Since patrons and benefactors mean the world to us, if you have purchased 2020 season tickets or made a season sponsorship donation for 2020, we will gratefully honor them through July 2021 to accommodate for the reduced schedule in 2020. Should you have any questions about this or any of our programs or productions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly via email at [email protected]
In closing and on behalf of everyone at Kudzu Playhouse, I wish you only the best for a blessed and safe New Year. I look forward to seeing you soon, and Kudzu Playhouse looks forward to the coming months and many more years of presenting quality, live Community Theatre that entertains and delights our audiences.
We are excited about the new opportunities that change will bring and thank you for your continued encouragement and support.
All the Best,
Joi Taylor, Executive Director
Kudzu Playhouse was founded in 1983. Our mission is to bring performing arts to the community by showcasing talented actors and actresses of all ages in an accessible, open, and encouraging environment, while also nurturing and developing young future performers, regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs, or socio-economic background. We believe that theatre should not only be fun, educational, and accessible but also reflect the demographics of our community without discrimination. For more information about our programs and how you can get involved, visit our website at www.kudzuplayers.com.