photo collage from Annie, Fantastics, and Chicago of characters reading news

Alice Welcome Letter

Embrace the Madness.

There are few moments in life we can count as truly extraordinary; having the privilege to welcome you back to theatre might be one of the best.

It’s been a year and a half since we made the difficult decision to postpone our production, Alice in Wonderland, but, honestly, it has felt like twenty. Our staff has learned to edit video and navigate television studios; our artists have learned to create virtual writers’ rooms and rehearse remotely; and we have all experienced more video meetings than we ever thought possible. At the same time, we witnessed our community adapt and thrive during a time when it felt difficult to even survive.

Who knew, when we announced our 2020 season in the fall of 2019, the theme of our summer production would resonate so strongly with this cultural moment? It was so apt, in fact, its theme became the concept – and our staff mantra – for 2021: Embrace the Madness.

During this time of hardship and uncertainty, we have all reevaluated, well, everything. Phamaly is no exception. We have been reassessing – the art we create, the community we serve, and the ethics and values we hold as invaluable.

Throughout this process, one thing has proven to be true time and again: the name Phamaly is not just a fun play on words. Once an acronym created by our founders, the intention behind the name – Phamaly – is real. It is the lifeblood of who we are as an organization. And, by virtue of you sharing this extraordinary moment with us, you are part of the Phamaly Family. Along with our artists, volunteers, donors, board, and staff, YOU are the lifeblood of our theatre. Thank you.

Phamaly’s version of Alice in Wonderland is about an unwillingness to let our worries and hardships be the sole definition of our identity. It tells the story of a young girl who, unable to handle the consistent pressure of everyday life, loses her sense of self. It is only through falling down the rabbit hole she is able to redefine her humanity. What an important lesson for all of us at this time! Like Alice, we must reclaim our humanity as we rebuild, better than we were before.

There is no question 2020 brought challenges we never could have fathomed. Yet, due to the foundation and sustainability Phamaly has been working so hard to build the past few years, the organization has been stable throughout this crisis. While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not yet over – visible by the lower capacity necessary in the theatre – we are confident Phamaly Theatre Company will come through it stronger than ever.

Please relax, keep your mask on, and enjoy Phamaly’s world premier adaptation of Alice In Wonderland.

Embrace the madness with us.

Ben & Sasha