The pandemic crushed charitable fundraising events in 2020. As 2021 started, our organization sought ways to gather our members and guests together in a safe way that would help with our fundraising goal. We had for years held a theater night, but theaters were not yet ready to open for in-person events in any significant number. The Board of Lady Managers was founded by a woman who founded our community hospital 150 years ago. We are an organization of women today. Pipeline Playwrights was our perfect fit.
Joining with Pipeline Playwrights, our members and their guests were provided a chance for an evening of theater, watching the production at home each at our own convenience, then joining together for a live Zoom event with the playwright, the actors, the stage production crew, and other playwrights for a lively discussion on the play, the vagaries of producing the performance for a Zoom platform and other topics of interest to participants. We were delighted with these extra touches which enhanced the performance and are not usually available with live theater.
We gained not only the shared enhanced experience, but we were able to expand our invitees beyond our local community and to be inclusive of our friends and colleagues with challenges that would keep them from traveling to the theater. And we were fulfilling our organization’s mission—to raise funds, this year to support advanced technology at Inova Alexandria Hospital.
This was our first attempt at a virtual event and Pipeline Playwrights assisted us through the process every step of the way, with a detailed “run-of-the-program” and moving along our on-line event with precision, well-paced determination, grace, and humor.
Our play was Ann Timmons’ “A Very Present Presence,” an engaging romp with historical perspective and modern-day enlightenment. The ultimate delight was our members being very present (pun intended) in the theater again.