A Valediction, Tolerating Mourning
June 16th, 2022
Dear Friends, Fans, Collaborators, Supporters and all others who have shared in the experience of Worlds Elsewhere,
In May of 2020, the co-founders of Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company were, like many others in the US, sheltering in our homes. Our hearts ached as we grieved our losses, both societal and personal due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. As in previous times of plague, theatre as an institution was under siege, and for a time, theatre as we knew it was impossible to enjoy safely.
It was in that moment when we came together, and while it took us a little time to figure out exactly how to proceed, we eventually settled on a virtual production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We organized it to benefit bail and mutual aid funds for protestors who risked their lives to create a better world, fighting conditions rendered unsafe by both the pandemic and the tragically inhumane responses of law enforcement.
We built on that success. We’ve made a lot of good art, supported some great artists and some great causes.
However, as the company grew and continued we struggled with questions around sustainability. Conflicting long-term visions, the weight of the board’s labor in running the company on top of other commitments, financial pressures, and the growing resurgence of live theatre all contributed to difficulty in maintaining the pursuit of our mission and vision.
We wrestled with difficult questions. Will we be able to attract the talent or funding we need to grow when supporting live performances are an option? Can we play in a space seemingly endemically unfriendly to long-form content? How far can we go with production values given our resources while continuing to produce something that is meaningfully “theatre”? Is “virtual theatre” a sustainable niche?
In the end, we believe that we had a compelling idea that was very truly of the moment – an extremely difficult moment when people were isolated, scared, confused, and trapped in their homes. While COVID is not over, that moment is blessedly passing.
And so, in the name of enabling our team to react to the present moment in new ways, Worlds Elsewhere will be ceasing our theatrical operations after July 2nd of 2022.
While there is no small amount of disappointment to be felt associated with this decision, it is tempered with celebration of and pride in our achievements during our roughly two years of operation. Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company’s achievements include:
- Staging five major mainstage productions
- Producing an audiobook-style series of over five hours in length
- Curating two cabaret style shows
- Performing the real-play D&D adventure. MacDeath, through Fantasy Worlds Elsewhere
- Developing an original one-act through a workshop process
- Directing over $9500 to organizations including bail and mutual aid funds across the U.S., Trans Lifeline, Mermaids UK, and Amnesty International
- (Including $2000 to the Equality Texas foundation via the Transwarp Drive Concert to which we donated our platform)
As I write this, our final production, The Roaring Girl is in rehearsal. It is my fervent hope that we will finish as we began, with a wildly successful charity show.
If Worlds Elsewhere has touched your life for the better, we invite you to express that sentiment by buying a ticket to one last show to support the efforts of the International Rescue Committee in providing relief to those impacted by the war in Ukraine.
Please join us for The Roaring Girl on July 2nd – to celebrate all our efforts and send us out in a blaze of philanthropic glory!
While our theatrical operations are indefinitely closed, we will continue to keep the company active in a legal sense, as well as keep our solicitation license current. Fantasy Worlds Elsewhere may still have a few tricks up their sleeves and you may see our channels being used to continue their charitable work.
This website and our YouTube channel will remain active as an archive of our achievements.
Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Executive Director of Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company Inc.
(On behalf of the Board of Directors)