Ten years ago Pandora began life with a musical, Falsettos. We were working in a very small theater off Baxter Avenue called the Alley. It was November and there was no heat backstage. The stage itself was about as big as a postage stamp. Backstage, the performers had to turn sideways to fit. The lights were little more than coffee cans and light bulbs run off those turning dimmers that are in every house. The set was adapted from what the previous show had left because there was no money to build anything. Costumes came from home closets and props were picked up from curbside junk piles.
But the one thing that was always of the highest quality was the energy. The purpose. The art itself. And when the lights went down on that final scene the walls and roof vibrated with applause. We stood in the rear of the theater and felt the floor literally shake as people stomped their feet in approval. The show sold out and Pandora was born. And while the birth was amazing the rearing of this new entity was to be filled with difficulty.
However, in all the trials and tribulations that faced us one thing always remained true: the people. Whether the audience or the wonderful actors who have crossed Pandora’s stage, these people are the reason she continued. In the darker times, when it seemed that Pandora was to fade, new life was always breathed into her.
It is still a struggle. And just as Pandora fights to remain alive her cause, her mission, must neither be allowed to fade. In these times we often forget what it took to get here. The struggle that the gay community has faced, and continues to face, is often glossed over by the visage of modern acceptance. But there are still miles to go. In that small theater ten years ago no one ever thought that Pandora would get to this place. And we cannot imagine the places that our community will eventually reach. But we are on the right track. Thank you all for your years of steadfast support. We look forward to seeing what the next ten years will bring!