The Saints Come Marching In

by Richard Engling

I have to think the saints are watching over Polarity in a couple ways this year. We are finishing out the last two weekends of a really magical production of A Streetcar Named Desire. We are sold out for Friday night. The acting has been spectacular and widely praised, but the tech work is equally stunning, and some of the thanks has to go to the Saints. You might know the Saints as the organization that provides ushers to so many Chicago theaters, but they also provide grants to help companies with special projects. One of the reasons Streetcar looks so good is that the Saints recognized Polarity’s track record of theatrical excellence by approving a grant to assist us in buying new computer-driven lighting equipment. In an intimate space like ours, it makes a huge difference.

In addition to that blessing, this morning I signed a letter of agreement with the saintly Marc Richards of Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, the international intellectual properties law firm. I’ve been talking with Marc for some time about publishing projects we are planning, and Marc and his firm have agreed to provide us pro bono legal assistance! Polarity has published two books of plays to date, and we have some very hot ideas for projects no one else in the nation is doing. (Sorry, I can’t spill the beans yet).

So we are feeling grateful and will have good reasons to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. With only 6 performances of Streetcar left, we certainly hope our friends will make sure to get their tickets. This is an extraordinary production not to be missed. Click here for more details.

P.S. Managing Director Ann Keen lead the Saints grant application effort with lots of help from Jason Epperson. She says: “The Saints know theatre. Their grants offer solid, practical help for solutions to basic needs. Without their assistance our production values would not have risen to the level we now enjoy. They make it easier for theatres to do theatre.” Click to sign up for our newsletter.

3 Responses to “The Saints Come Marching In”

  1. Jim Venskus says:

    As a board member of the Saints, thank you for your gracious comments. Speaking personally, the Saints Grants Program is one of the things in which I take great satisfaction. For 30 years, the Saints have, in a diverse and increasing manner, sought to assist our amazing performing arts companies to sustain and achieve. As the grants are recommended by a working group of members, each award clearly shows the respect and affection with which our almost 2,000 members hold each year’s companies. With my very best wishes to the ensemble, Jim Venskus.

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