Question No. 3: The wharf in Provincetown has been sold to Ann and Chuck Lagasse who also spruced up Boston and Newburyports harbors. If you could reach them what would you say to them which might convince them to contribute to your non-profit cause? Would what you say differ from what you might send to Ryan Murphy, in writing or if you were together at a dinner party?
Dear Ann and Chuck
I’m happy to hear that you will be waving your wand over Provincetown’s wharf in the coming years. Though I don’t own a yacht, even a miniature bath tub version, I do know some folks that do, and it might actually be interesting for them to pull up to our pier one day.
I am writing you because I run a non-profit theater and performance festival in Provincetown called the Afterglow Festival. I started it seven years ago with John Cameron Mitchell and the festival is dedicated toward saving Provincetown’s heritage as the birth place of the modern American stage.
Progressive, experimental theater and performance is Provincetown’s birth right; but in the increasing gentrification of the last two decades, especially, Provincetown has become very resort-like in its presentation of to Broadway stars, at big-ticket prices, and we felt we needed to swoop in and help by creating a non-profit which would afford to stage artists and their works in Provincetown over a week each year.
Solo plays we’ve premiered and developed have moved off-Broadway and to great stages around the world. Our artists have developed works and acts that have won them grants, awards and top honors at other festivals around the world, like Edinburgh and others.
As our population changes in Provincetown, which will become increasingly slick, many supporters having moved away due to the rising cost of living or to find more bohemian pastures. I’m hardpressed to “meet” the newcomers “at the pier” if you will, mainly people of means, and door stop them like this, holding out my beggars cap, asking for sponsorship. I believe what people moving to Provincetown love about it—its progressive spirit—will be lost lest they help (to help) us keep artistic aspects of its personality alive.
I hope you will become a sponsor of the Afterglow Festival. That sort of thing….