Espionage and Making Art
The drama back-stage often rivals any fictitious machinations on the page at a small regional theatre with big ambitions. With a new group of people handling all sorts of administrative duties something is bound to fall through the cracks. We were lucky this time and I viewed this latest crisis as a marvelous opportunity.
When I entered my office early one morning I was greeted with the news that a grant was due the next day by 6 pm. Our brilliant administrative director had everything worked out – “we can do this” – and our book-keeper supplied the numbers with grace and ease, the administrative director filled out pages of questions about our corporation and I wrote pages of narrative about our artistic achievements and aspirations. I loved talking about Cape May Stage – we had much to celebrate from the all-female-playwright-season to our National Playwrights Symposium to our paid Resident Intern Program. This season we had a Tony Award nominated director and we always have actors and designers from Broadway, film and television. Our office was a hive of productivity and everything was done to be over-nighted to our board director the next morning who would personally deliver the documents.
Here comes the Bourne franchise component. The package never arrives and we start tracing it with UPS. Their office messed up and delivered it to the wrong address but said it could get there the next day. Too late. After talking with various levels of supervisors we had a supervisor’s attempt to intercept the package. But UPS messed up again and after many apologies they gave us their big problem solver. She was a model of efficiency but something in the conversation sounded a little off. “Are you in New York?” we asked. “No” she replied. “Can you tell us where you are located?” we inquired. “Southeast Asia” was the reply.
Now we have international locations for our story and we have boots on the ground in the person of our board member trudging through the rainy streets of New York. Success. He made the connection. Our southeast Asian connection solved what eluded more local operators and our board member had the all-important package. This episode prepared him for a State Department job in dropping off sensitive information. The UPS sent written confirmation that they were the reason for the delay and our grant application was accepted the next morning.
Whether we are awarded the grant or not, I learned what a great team we have who works well under pressure.
How lucky we are at Cape May Stage to have the amazing staff we now have that wants to create art to give to our community. This is the time of year to celebrate that.