Only hours before attending opening night at Pioneer Theatre did I learn that the “Impossible Dream” song came from Man of La Mancha. I blame it on the fact that the musical was before my time *mimics the best innocent angelic face possible* and not for lack of interest in the theatre arts *ahem*. Anyway… as a (I like to think myself) dreamer and romantic, it’s awe-inspiring to see Charles Morey accomplish his “impossible dream” after 28 years as Pioneer Theatre Company artistic director.
A true theatre veteran, Morey will be abdicating the throne at the end of the season and moving to New York. Rather than asking everyone’s impossible dream (hey, too obvious…), I asked for a few contributory messages in honor of Morey’s retirement from Pioneer Theatre Company.
Chuck – here is all the love that surrounds you at PTC.
George Maxwell, Resident Set Designer
“Who would’ve guessed your first main stage show and my first main stage show at Pioneer Theatre would’ve brought 40 more shows out of us together. Thanks Chuck for all the years.”
Jayne Luke, Choreographer for Man of La Mancha
“Well, to say ‘thank you’ isn’t enough, but one of the things you’ve taught me is how to choose my words more carefully. You are the most professionally appropriate man of integrity. Thank you.”
Anne Stewart Mark, friend of Pioneer Theatre Company
“I just want Chuck to know how grateful I am for all of the things he’s given me as an actor, as a friend, as a mentor… and as a man who believes in the miracle of storytelling.”
Andrea Barnes, friend of Pioneer Theatre Company
“Chuck hired me when I was straight out of graduate school – and I was the director of development, maybe one or two years after he got hired. When he talks about stepping through a doorway that you don’t really know where you are going, that was what happened to me. And I’ve been raising money for not-for-profits ever since so he got me my start and I really appreciate him for that.”
Stephen Fehr, Barber in Man of La Mancha
“I just want Chuck to know how much I’ve appreciated all the opportunities he’s given me over the years. The first time I met him, I was extremely intimidated by him and I’m just glad that I’ve gotten to know him better and that he’s been my boss, my colleague, my collaborator and I wish him the best of success on any future endeavors he has and I will never forget the impact he’s had on my life as an actor.
Justin Ivie, Juan in Man of La Mancha
“Chuck, I want you to know that I think it’s beautiful that the first show I ever did at Pioneer Theatre was ‘Man of La Mancha’ that you directed 17 years ago and I felt like it was the biggest opportunity of my life and I was so thrilled everyday just to be in the room. I felt that way every day since and I couldn’t be more grateful for all of your amazing hard work and professionalism and the opportunities you’ve created, not only for me but for all the wonderful artists I’ve met over the years. You have no idea how much you are going to be missed.”
Enrique Acevedo, Pedro in Man of La Mancha
“I just want to thank [Chuck] for allowing me to come back to Pioneer… I remember in rehearsal, I remember, I think he was unsure whether I could crack the whip. I rolled it around and gave it a crack and he had this look like, ‘Good, thank god that he cracked the whip.’”
Daniel Marcus, Sancho in Man of La Mancha
“This is my third time at the Pioneer and I was also in ‘Paint Your Wagon’ with Enrique. He won’t tell you this, but he was the best thing in the show. I love being here more than any other regional theatre because of Chuck. He trusts actors; he likes actors; he makes it safe and the thing that made me know I was home-free was the first day in rehearsal, when you introduced everybody in the cast and when you got to me, you said, ‘And you are?” Abuse from you is, I know, an act of good faith. And beyond that, I wish you luck in New York. I think you’ll be luckier if you make sure that I’m hired in any show you do and if I can’t be, I’d appreciate it if you gave a good word to Karen Azenberg for me so I could keep working here whether you are here or not.”
Maria Eberline, Aldonza in Man of La Mancha
“Chuck, you are a man among men. It’s been an honor and I know it sounds so trite to say that over and over again, but it really truly has been an honor and I have just so appreciated your candor, your passion, your complete lack of BS when it comes to this job. You have such a clear vision for what you want of us and yet, you know exactly when to trust the cast that you’ve assembled and to step aside and let us do what we do. And I know that sounds so simple, and I’m oversimplifying how great you are at what you do, but it’s amazing how many directors don’t do that. If I do nothing else but work in Chuck Morey productions, I think I’d be a pretty, pretty happy actor. I’m really, really hoping that this just the beginning of a good working relationship. I just have so much respect for you and I hope it’s the beginning of many, many more productions to come. We love you Chuck.”
Kirsten Park, Director of Marketing
“The theatre company took a risk on bringing me into the theatre world, having not been in theatre before. I feel extremely lucky to have had my first tenure in theatre under such an amazing director. For five years of actors raving about Chuck’s ability to produce and direct and I’m just glad I had the opportunity to work with such a professional my first time out. He set the benchmark for me for how an artistic director should lead and envision a theatre company.”
Dirk Lumbard, Governor/Innkeeper in Man of La Mancha
“I’m a better actor, I’m a better artist because of Chuck Morey. Because of the opportunities he’s given me at Pioneer Theatre and watching him. His guidance has made me a better artist and I wish, I hope, that there are many, many more people and lives that he will touch because they will really benefit from his knowledge and joy that he has of theatre.”
Colleen Lindstrom, Patron Services Manager
“Thanks, Chuck, for listening. From the very beginning.”
Happy trails from all of us. Cheers!
Check out the monumental last production from Charles Morey at Pioneer Theatre Company: Man of La Mancha. It plays May 4 to May 9, 2012, six days a week. The horses are the best part. What does that mean? You gotta see it to understand.
Lansia is a semi-pro social media artist – having blogged professionally and casually. An art major herself, Lansia loves to support and participate in the creative community: theatre, film, music, photography, writing, performance and art just to name a few off the tip of the tongue. In addition to her writing, she loves to cook, eat, travel, play, adventure and rock the headphones. Find her personal blog at http://daphnelcc.wordpress.com.