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Re: “Firehouse Theatre Turns Hose on Itself

You never have to apologize for typos to me- I am the queen :) Thanks for writing me back. You make a great point about two sides to this story and we don't know the whole story and maybe we never will. There are some wonderful people on the board and in this debate they are all meshing into a single villain role- which they are not- I know Carol would agree and has even asked for people to tone down the rhetoric. What I can say is that we do know that 3 board members have publicly resigned regretting their vote and citing lack of transparency on the part of the executive committee. Whether or not there where management issues... what non profit doesn't have them :) - there is a better way to handle such human resource concerns. Carol deserved more respect. I think it says something that board members are starting to speak up in regret.
Either way, the biggest point I wanted to make is that the board is there as you said to support the theatre and look out for its financial stability- to support its mission. They have no right to change it. It is a non-profit and therefore they have a duty to listen to the public and right now the public is not happy.

Thank you again for your comments and I hope you have a wonderful new year!

Christina Billew

30 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by cbillew on 12/28/2012 at 5:05 PM

Re: “Firehouse Theatre Turns Hose on Itself

Dear Davis,
I think there is a general misconception that actors do not understand business- we have to- this is our business, our livelihood. You are absolutely right, ticket sales do not even begin to cover the cost of running a theatre, we fundraise trough donations ( big and small) and grants. Unfortunately most people across the country don't know the so called "big actors" -The Firehouse primarily produces plays, not musicals. I am a theatre person and I don't even follow the name regional theatre actors . When Broadway does it they typically bring in movie or film stars- I don't see Scarlett Johansson or Tom Hanks premiering on the Richmond stage anytime soon. Those actors also cos much more- and sometimes lose the theatre money. While it is very important to have wise business people on the board, they need to not dismiss the knowledge of the theatre community as it is our business. Look at how the local Theatres have survived and flourished in a recession. The community is more expressing outrage at the complete lack of disrespect that has been shown to Carol and the theatre. Who decides to retire someone and not even have the decency to call her personally? That is bad business. ---ps those top tier Theatres are for profit so the board would have to completely change The Firehouse's mission and company status. Also, check out what Bruce Miller has to say regarding this issue. Together with Phil Whiteway he established Theatre IV and later took ownership of Barksdale Theatre which they have combined to be Virginia Rep. They are veteran theatre practictioners and businessmen who have sustained and grown their theatre company. Both support Carol and are against the boards handling of this situation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEaK1n09Pr8 -

Christina Billew

24 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by cbillew on 12/28/2012 at 2:27 PM

Re: “Firehouse Theatre Turns Hose on Itself

To those comments regarding community players/ community theatre: be lucky you don't really know what that means. Having grown up in Richmond and its theatre community I was horrified moving to a city that actually has no professional theatre. It is all volunteer community theatre using untrained performers , designers and directors . Richmond is a vibrant professional theatre community full of hard working theatre professionals many of whom live off off their theatre income- I did. Joe is a professional actor- whether or not you liked his performance do not be arogent enough to presume you understand the workings of theatre organizations and unions. There are plenty of good professional theatre people outside of the NY zip code . Are there are plenty of bad professional theatre people in NY. Some people in Richmond just seem to think NY is the be all end all. It's not. Grow up- and see the wonderful theatre in your own city and others. Be grateful Carol, Bruce, Phil, Jackie, James and several others have provided you with such a wonderful professional theatre community. I do, and I miss it everyday. - Christina Brookman Billew

39 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by cbillew on 12/27/2012 at 2:02 PM

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