In every program, I write up my little message as the Artistic Producer of Twenty Something Theatre. Sometimes I combine the message with my director's notes if I'm also directing the play and talk about the play and its relevance. Or if I'm just producing I might use this section of the program to talk about the company's accomplishments or use it to say all my "thank you's". Here is my "Message from the Artistic Producer" that will go in program for Tough!:
"Welcome to our 6th annual summer production and our 3rd & final show of the 2011 Season! I couldn’t be more thrilled to be ending our season with George F. Walker’s Tough! To me it is a seminal part of Canadian theatre history and belongs in the same category of as our 2009 production of Brad Fraser’s Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love: contemporary Canadian classics. To some it may seem like “contemporary” and “classic” are contradictory ideas because when we typically think of “classical” theatre we might think of Shakespeare or Chekov; but, as a country Canada is still quite young and we haven’t had the luxury of time. Canadian theatre history is maybe 100 years old, if that. The “classic” playwrights like Shakespeare changed the landscape of theatre history hundreds & hundreds of years ago. However, did Brad Fraser change the landscape of Canadian theatre with Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love? I think so. Did George F. Walker change the landscape of Canadian TYA (Theatre for Young Adults) with Tough?! Absolutely.
Tough! doesn't pander to a young audience. It is real. It is gritty and it treats the issues that young people deal with as something worthy of exploring. The lives of Tina, Bobby & Jill and the issues they deal with are very real to them in the moment and this trio of actors have given these characters a journey that is both hysterically funny and painfully real. And, honestly, what more could you ask for from a “classic” piece of theatre?!"