by Kathie Nichols, FTC Board President
Thanksgiving is behind us, but the Holiday Season is far from over. And I like to think of this entire period of time as an opportunity to count blessings and to express gratitude for things that enrich my life. High on that list for me is Forward Theater Company. Little did I know six years ago (when I agreed to serve on the company’s first Board of Directors) that this amazing company and this incredible group of people would—quite literally—change my life! I found myself surrounded by gifted theater professionals (of all stripes) and by people who love theater with a passion that nearly knows no bounds. Everyone invested their precious time, energy and financial support to help this newborn theater get off the ground. This energy, dedication and sense of shared purpose propelled us forward (yes, I know; it’s hard not to use that word). And now here we are - a full-fledged, local, professional theater company thriving in Madison, WI!
There is something magical about Forward’s story. Theater is “magic-making” at its best, and Forward has made plenty of magic on the stage in its short history. But Forward’s very existence is magical: a group of grieving theater professionals decided to start a new theater company in the midst of a severe recession. Who thought that was a good idea??? It wasn’t (on the face of it). But you couldn’t tell that to those people gathered around Celia Klehr’s famous kitchen table. They were all about the magic! And the creativity….and the transformative potential of artistic endeavor. So they would not hear “no” or “that’s unrealistic” or “that’s impossible”. They only heard, “Forward!”
So at this magical time of year, I want to wish you blessings and all the best during the holidays and in the New Year. And I’m saying a special word of thanks for the “little theater company that could”. Forward!