I’m a member of the board of the Shotgun Players Theatre here in Berkeley, and every year we have a fundraising event. However this year it’s gone online as a “virtual event” and I just drank a lot of coffee and made up this whole thing for anyone out there to consider…
go to this page: https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/SHOTGUN/BibiTiphane
I was not going to invite you to Sassafras, because as you know, I’m an introvert! I was going to offer to work on the edges of it, play hostess and maybe serve you drinks and make sure to have towels handy in case you spilled it on your beautiful dress! You would have been able to bid on live auctions of world-wide travel to participate in the big viral whirlwind, but instead, if you’re like me, you have figured out that you have spent less by staying at home all that time. But there are many people who have also lost their source of income, so it’s time to share our surplus (amassed thanks to 40 years of fiscal advantages started with… did Ronald Reagan ever work on stage?).
Our area in particular has been subject to tremendous economic pressure (I call it fracking, which is geology-related as was the gold rush), and that’s what I think about when I sponsor Shotgun Players. The fracking occurs when we inject people who spend their days growing money trees in our environment, but the effect is it will become a monoculture (a bit like, say, Palo Alto). I could sponsor bigger theatre and arts institutions, but to me that would just be buying entertainment and bringing in more people to provide the entertainment. With Shotgun Players, I am sponsoring local creative people who could be our neighbors.
During the rehearsals for Henry V, I had the privilege of volunteering to show how Shakespeare’s weird French could sound. It was a lot of fun and I was so looking forward to opening night… They recorded some of the scenes (from their homes) that you can listen to online under Podcast.
So I thought I might want to be creative and offer you some incentives to donate. My kind of incentives are to support other people around us…
My friend Diana Hartman is an artist whose art cannot be shown at a gallery right now. I’m offering to send you one of her Produce Portraits (https://www.dianahartmanart.com/produce-portraits), any one 11×11 or smaller for a $500 donation, the bigger ones like the carrots for a $1000 donation. How about a Knit Rubber Chicken Wine Bottle Cozy (https://www.etsy.com/listing/795394100/knit-rubber-chicken-wine-bottle-cozy) for a $250 donation? Or a Custom Pet Portrait (https://www.dianahartmanart.com/pet-portraits) made from a photo of your own cat, dog, iguana, or what else do you have?
I am a member of the sewing studio Hello Stitch, on University Avenue (https://www.hellostitchstudio.com). As a member, I can have a guest once a month, and you could be that guest (when we reopen) for a $150 donation.
How about a visit to Pegasus Bookstore, which is on Shattuck Avenue, on my 1.6-mile walk to the Ashby Stage? I’ll give you $10 to spend at Pegasus for a $100 donation.
How about a drink at the newly renovated concession? Also for a $100 donation.
See you at the theatre when we can!