Director's Chair
Come sit and see things from the Director's
Chair, an ongoing blog from Bert Miller,
Artistic Director for ACT.
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December 3, 2017
What? You’re Moving Again?!
Yep, once again ACT is on the move. We were very grateful
to TPAC and this past season was exciting to be performing
in as prestigious a space as the renowned Topeka Performing
Arts Center. But having completed two shows in the Hussey
Playhouse, we realized that it just wasn’t be best fit for our
company.

Since TPAC must make money to survive, that means they must
rent out their facility as often as possible. This gives us a very
limited opportunity in using the venue. We had to try and build and
paint our sets in pieces around town, and then had just a few short
hours to move them into the theatre and put them all together
before our final technical rehearsal a few short days before the
performances. This also meant the actors never had a chance to
be on the set until right before they had to perform under lights and
in costume, not having a chance to get familiar with their
surroundings.

We were fortunate to get the two shows we had in 2017 into the
schedule. But when we tried to book our 2018 season we were up
against an almost full slate of other rentals and performances. The
TPAC staff was understandably reluctant to book our shows on the
same nights as a performance on their mainstage upstairs. If we
were up against a rock concert our audiences would have
problems hearing our show over the bleed through of other music.
Likewise if they rented one of the adjacent rooms on our level for a
wedding reception with a DJ, that again would interfere with our
performance quality. Their busy schedule caused our season
announcement to be delayed and impacted our season ticket
sales.

In the end, all parties agreed that although this sounded like a
match made in heaven, it was not a good fit for us at all. And then
once again, when we felt a need to look elsewhere, the opportunity
opened up for us at The Breakroom. Frank Schultz was willing to
partner with us to allow the use of his wonderfully intimate
performance area for our upcoming season. In addition to the
close ties we can have with our audience in the smaller theatre,
our patrons will now be able to have a cocktail with their show as
well as snacks and a possible full meal.

We’re excited to still be a part of downtown Topeka and hope to
have a lot of other activities going on at and with The Breakroom,
in addition to our regular productions. So yes we are moving
again, but always Moving Up!