Thursday, July 23, 2009

"a few overly inflated egos"

tuesdays is receiving letter after letter like this, from skylight fans and subscribers, sent to the skylight board. while it's impossible to publish all of them here, this one caught my eye:
To the Skylight director and boards,

I write this as a long time supporter of the Skylight, not with dollars (but if I had more, I would definitely have given more) but with husband and I have been subscribers for more years than the records reflect--the early 60s before you kept records of these things.

We have seen the Skylight and have loved it. When our children were little, Clair used to take us up to his rooftop garden, and instilled a love of plants in our oldest son. And memories for all of us.

We were familiar with all of the early performers...Ray Hickman, John Bohan, Jack Strawbridge, the Quints, Monty Davis, Kurt Ollmann, and eventually, Colin Cabot, Tony Clements, Norman Moses, Jamie Johns, Richard Carsey, Bill Theisen, Ray Jivoff...and more names, but those are the ones I recall at this moment. Some we knew personally, others we just knew on stage.

We are saddened by what is going on right now. From the beginning of this nonsense, we had this haunting feeling that this was going to be the demise of the Skylight, and just before the 50th terribly sad.

One almost gets the feeling that this was a set up to dispose of Bill Theisen so that Eric Dillner could create his own fifedom. And we question what agenda Suzanne Hefty has. It seems like the agendas (of these two people) have backfired.

Although the Skylight has had good and bad times... financially... and the economy has not been good in the last year or so...there seems to be no reason for the bad management that has taken place. There are ways to work things out, but the firing of the Artistic Director is not one of them! Who is more important to the production? I can’t go into the details as well as the professionals who have already written to you, but from a “people” standpoint, there are ways to handle situations that certainly are preferable to the way this has been handled.

What a waste of a wonderful company, and all for the sake of a few overly inflated egos.

Marianne & Sherm Abrahamson


  1. The day of reckoning is upon us...

  2. While I am sad to see these and many other long time supporters leave the Skylight, I anticipated such a reaction and am in talks with many other extraodinary donors and supporters... many of whom own time machines and can go back 40+ years and support me, (ahem) I mean support the Skylight Opera with decades of subscriptions and memories. So, as you can see, it makes perect sense to stay the course!

  3. Leslie FitzwaterJuly 23, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    Tony, I wish there was a way you could publish all the letters. Sometimes I feel as if we are just an isolated group talking to each other. If this has consequenses beyond our sphere, it would be great to read about it. Merci beaucoup, mon ami.

  4. when sherm and marianne moved to arizona they invited lisa schlenker over and let her go through their house to see what she thought she could use. they donated many many personal possesions including several antique canes from a prized collection of sherm's. these folks were more than subscribers. they gave of themselves very tangibly to the skylight. how can dillner and hefty not see how far-reaching this is? and just how many people they've pushed away?


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