Proud Daughters and Sons, direct descendants of survivors. Marching orders from no one.

As always, the hard part about writing these outpourings of thanks is that we’re always saying thank you to the people that give so much to HUGE.  I already feel like my words don’t do justice to how grateful I am and don’t ever want our thanks to just seem rote – so the task is always searching for new ways to properly capture it.

one HUGE year

Along the way, I’ve had to wrap my mind around marking the occasions that matter – and we are in a strange place for that, as there are so many important days along the way to remember.

We took possession of the building on September 1st of last year.  I will be the first one to tell you it both feels like it’s been an instant and somehow feels like it’s been ten years.  I see the building every day and I love taking good care of it and helping it grow and mature as a space along the way but it’s crazy to realize that a year ago the space was an empty concrete shell of an old clothing store.

We opened our doors on December 5th – a Sunday night, of all the most fitting things that could happen – and we are celebrating that on the first Sunday in December every year.  This year we are having the very first Improviser of the Year Award, you should certainly be there. It will be fun, people are going to be dressed up and it marks the moment when our building became a theater.

We took some time to get things figured out on our feet and then had our Opening Night some time later – We officially celebrate the anniversary of our opening on January 28th, 2012. We will have a show, there will be a silent auction and I’m pretty sure that is when my mind will finally crack at the realization that we opened a theater and managed to keep it open for one whole year.  Which is all just explanation why it’s such a monumental task to try and thank everyone properly – I don’t fool myself into thinking We (the Board of HUGE) kept the theater open for a year. Oh no.

WE kept the theater open for an entire year – and WE are putting it on the right track to be open for many more years after this one. When we started this whole thing I kept referring to “clearing the gap” and I think it still works, though I was unprepared for how long and wide the gap was.  One year of running the theater 100% with volunteers has been hard, wonderful, frustrating, humbling and absolutely nesseccary – We will see the last payment toward the cost of construction in February of 2012 and have our feet on very different ground after that.

We will have finally cleared the gap.

Along the way there have been moments of doubt about making it but we have always found ways to push harder, dig deeper and ask for help better.  I have all of you to thank for that.  And no matter how many of these I write, I can never thank you enough.

Give To The Max Day

Being a non-profit company, we had GTMD on our radar as an important day but it wasn’t until Tane suggested the idea of the Improv A Thon that we had a real plan for how we were going to make it ours and make it feel like how HUGE does the biggest fundraising day of the year.  We are terrible at asking for money, we would all rather focus on the fun and the improv. So that is what our GTMD should feel like.  So, with that out of the way, we set out to ask a great deal more of the people we have spent almost a year asking for support and help from – and they came through in such an amazing way I am still stunned by it.

Improvisers took time off from their paying jobs to come perform or just to watch and support their fellow performers.

Audience members stayed for ridiculous hours to watch the weirdest of moments.

People took to the intertubes to get the word out about HUGE in numbers and ways that had not yet been done

And we all joked about the folly of being the performers on stage at 2 in the afternoon when there isn’t ever going to be a large (or even medium size) audience to see you pour all the energy you might have into making something happen – but every single performer that took the stage did exactly that.  I saw the entire event and I can tell you that never once was there a set that was phoned in or done with half measures.

It was all fun and love and the love of fun. And it was wonderful.

That is what we showed everyone that would watch as a reason they should support HUGE.  Not some reasoning about validating the art form, not the facts about the Twin Cities being a city full of awesome improvisers that deserve a stage – No.  We showed everyone the love and the energy. That is impossible to ignore or argue with.  That is what we’re actually supporting every day of every week with every show. That is why everyone puts in the hours and the dollars and does far more than is reasonable to keep growing and building.  That is what HUGE is meant to be, a big container for all that love and energy and talent.

People often thank me and Nels and Jill for what we do – and I don’t ever want to seem like I don’t appreciate the thanks, I will be the first one to say that you’ve got it backwards.  I have been able to spend the last year working on the realization of a crazy idea and a dream job. To build a home for our theater – but without all of you, the theater is just a room with some chairs in it.

The names and efforts are too numerous to list but the result is obvious and amazing.

Thank you all for making HUGE Theater.