The theatre I had - HNT # 3

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continued from 2 weeks ago

2000, 2001 and 2002 were banner years at the theater. Theatre J'’Nerique was averaging 4 new shows a year. The All Too Real Players produced 2 - 3 productions per year. A couple of independent theatre companies had formed and was renting the space at affordable rates. The stage was used on the last Thursdays of every month for a poetry jam and Sunday Showcase was in full swing.

Sunday Showcase began as a weekly free movie (our first one was "Casablanca") and later developed into an all-ages music venue. It’s safe to say that many of the up and coming bands in town played shows at the theater over those years.

Movie nights alternated every other week with the band night. So, between managing the theater for rentals where I was the defacto house manager and tech designer, youth theatre workshops... plus producing and directing shows with my theatre company... I was pulling an average of 16 hour days, 7 days a week. Still making a pittance but I didn't mind because the audience was growing and I looked at it as an investment for better days up ahead.

Sometime in 2000, my friend who was teaching in the continuation school upstairs left abruptly and I was called in to sub. So, this added more work to my already packed schedule... but it also brought in more income.

Throughout all of this, stalwarts like Zonthar were part of the company lending their talents on stage. In 2001, SSM was dragged kicking and screaming back onto the stage after a 10 year hiatus. With a pretty solid core in the theatre company the notion of the Rogue Festival began being bandied about. We figured that an event like that could only bring more awareness to the space. In Fall of that year a group of us went up to the SF Fringe just so we could all get on the same page.

In the Spring of 2002, the First Rogue Festival took place. All of this while still developing and producing original works for the stage... such as my adaptation of Christmas Carol - complete with hookers and Christmas Ninjas.

Audiences were picking up, more shows were being produced - finally things webeginninging to happen.

come back for the conclusion next week.



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