Saying yes to Todd Ristau and opening a No Shame franchise at our theater was one of the best things I have done as an Artistic Director. Some of my favorite moments and people of the last three years have come as a direct result, and with very little risk Live Arts has grown in directions that truly matter. We have a great new conduit for new writers and performers, who can be part of our theater with any degree of submersion—from dipping a toe to plunging in head first. We have new audiences, who learn from the first moments theatrical values (economy, imagination, topicality, among many others) that truly matter. We gained an income stream, that though modest, is very reliable and welcome. But most of all we became part of a community that is centered right here but stretches from coast to coast. This community supports all that we do in ways large and small, and has fed directly into all our other work; education, production, development, outreach and new works have all seen vital new energy as a direct result of No Shame. Our Friday late night slot was a wasteland, but now I can not imagine our theater without No Shame filling it 52 weeks a year. It is theater that always surprises, that touches something deep and meaningful in audiences, performers, and writers, and that makes a lasting impression. Brevity is the soul of wit, and of No Shame. These short performances make an outsized impression on all who encounter them. My only question for any theater without No Shame is “What are you waiting for?” Don’t let the revolution start without you.
artistic director, live arts
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