Friday, July 24, 2009

skylight board member friedman resigns

elizabeth friedman has resigned from the skylight opera theatre board of directors:
To the Skylight Board of Directors:

I have been on the Skylight Theatre Board for seven years. I have treasured my involvement with the Skylight for most of those years. The Artists, Artistic Directors, staff, patrons and donors that I have met have enriched the experience immeasurably.

Up until early June, I was a huge fan of the Skylight, Bill Theisen, Eric Dillner, Ray Jivoff, Christine McGee, Sarah Reddin, Heidi Boyd, Mark Turner and the wonderful Portia to mention but a few. I was in four meetings at the Skylight within 4 days of when the news was broken to me by an innocuous e-mail. No one had said a thing. Four days earlier, the Strategic Planning Committee was talking about grandiose plans to buy a parking lot and possibly add on to the Skylight in the future. Every time anyone mentioned the deficits, we were told that possibly a donor could be found to finance this endeavor. Well, why not use funding to generate new audiences and create a sound fiscal policy first?

The excuse given for the “eliminations” of the positions held by Bill Theisen, Diana Carl and others was “due to financial circumstances.” In all, originally 5 positions were eliminated. Besides the lack of vetting of all possible ways to help make up some of the deficit, Eric and the Executive Committee chose to keep the Board of Directors out of the loop and handle it unilaterally for FIVE MONTHS. Eric and the Executive Committee never asked for input, or additional donations from Board Members or donors explaining the situation. Instead, the decision was made to eliminate the very lifeblood of any Theatre community: they decimated the artistic department.

Having served on the Development Committee for 7 years, I can tell you about Dashboards, deficits, pie charts and percentages of funding. The pie charts for the Skylight and all Not For Profit Businesses are basically: 1/3 comes from the audience and ticket sales, the other 2/3rds come from Board Member Donations, major and minor donors, foundations, UPAF, and generally people who feel some attachment to the Skylight.

In the seven weeks since the decimation, we have had very few but very measured messages. But the actual need to meet with artists, donors, patrons, ticket holders and the promise of “Forums” never materialized. At tonight’s meeting, Eric presented three letters from people commending him on his actions. He also had a few friends he has placed in key rolls for the 50th Season. Well, that is NOT the 50th Season that was sold to those who wanted to celebrate the extraordinary quality of the Skylight Theatre and the artists who work for peanuts. The Skylight is not “instant opera”.

This evening we took a vote on whether or not we should retain Eric Dillner who has yet to hold a single public forum (KEY POINT: A forum allows questions, Eric.) Eric said that he has felt threatened. We have been seeking group forums with artists, donors, audience members, anyone who had a question or need. To date these have not been held. SEVEN WEEKS! A prepared statement delivered by Eric Dillner that allows no questions does not constitute a “forum.” An announcement does not constitute an exchange.

A group of members of the Board of Directors went into tonight’s executive session to propose a solution that would replace Eric Dillner and thank him for his wonderful ideas and exuberance. We knew we were up against those who foster the strict business model. Eric had held no meetings, has failed to smooth any ruffled feathers and the damage has been catastrophic. To the Board of Directors’ credit, they did, for the most part listen. Some made suggestions for a model keeping Eric Dillner. The problem is that we have lost our good will with the community, we have lost our artistic community, and we sold out. Our beloved theatre is dying right before our eyes. Now we needed to come up with a drastic measure to rectify the problems, admit mistakes on both sides and try to repair the severed relationships with the artists, donors, audiences, foundations20and community. A vote was taken. The results were 16 in favor of keeping Eric at the helm versus 12 who proposed an alternate plan that would have removed Eric. There would have been a very suitable person to act as the Pro-tem leader.
The case was made as best we could to “Save the Season and Save the Skylight”.

I respect many individuals on the Board of Directors. There are some real stars there. I can’t tell you how glad I am to have had a chance to work with most of you. But the time has come for me to sever all ties with the Skylight. I wish you well. I know you have many people on the Board, by Board standards, too many actually. I thank you for tolerating my passion for the Skylight but now I will use my knowledge of Not for Profit organizations elsewhere.

I truly wish the Skylight Theatre the very best. I hope that the Phoenix can rise from the ashes, but now I will feel free to follow our artists and new artists to other theatre groups and other venues.

I am resigning because the actions of the Board of Directors are not only contrary to the best interests of the Skylight, but endanger its very survival. In seven weeks, the mismanagement by a few and the negligent complacency of many have sullied a 50-year history of excellence. The inexcusable actions that caused this crisis and that exacerbated it have turned the Skylight into a national example of theatrical mismanagement and a lesson of what not to do in public relations.

This is my absolute resignation from the Skylight Board of Directors. Please remove my name from all of your communications immediately.


Elizabeth L. Friedman
Former Skylight Theatre Board Member:
July 2002 resigning July 23, 2009


  1. Ms. Friedman,
    I am going to be so bold as to speak for all the artists who have taken a stand against the current structure: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! Thank you for your years of service. Thank you for your time, wisdom, passion and support. I am so sorry that you have to leave the board under these circumstances. I truly hope that we will share a glass of champagne on an opening night sometime in the near future, when the Skylight we both hold so dear is returned to us.
    You have my deepest respect,
    Becky Spice

  2. Could it be any more clear?

  3. Well put Becky. Ms. Friedman, you have my deepest respect too.

    James Valcq

  4. Bravo! Well said.

  5. First and foremost...I heartily second Becky's sentiments and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Secondly, and forgive me if I'm misunderstanding...but Ms. Friedman's incredibly eloquent letter states:

    "At tonight’s meeting, Eric presented three letters from people commending him on his actions. He also had a few friends he has placed in key rolls for the 50th Season."

    Did we not hear this morning from Mr. Kurtenbach that Eric should not be asked to answer certain questions because he wasn't present at last night's meeting?

    Perhaps he was asked to leave at some point during the meeting so the remaining board members could discuss potential actions and take a vote. Regardless, it seems that Ms. Friedman's letter once again brings to light the perpetration of half truths and back pedaling we continue to hear from the Dillner camp over and over.

  6. Wait a minute...that isn't what we were told this morning!

  7. Well, there it is. With this statement, if it is true, and I believe that we know that it is, Terry Kurtenbach has lost an incredible amount of credibility with his statements from this morning. Aleady! Next? It appears that now in fact Terry and Eric mislead the group by saying the entire board was aware, at different intervals, of the actions that they were going to take.

  8. (Oh no.)

    I had the privilege of meeting and working with you while serving on the SOT's Jr. Board a few years ago.

    Your forthrightness and clear minded dialogue couldn't be more eloquently expressed today as it was when I sat witness during board meetings. It also deeply saddens me that your guidance and knowledge will no longer be felt in an organization that is loved by so many and truly unique in a world of streamlined entertainment.

    With that said, I second Becky's sentiments. And say Thank You for all that you have done, attempted and will do for our community in the future.

    Renee Bach
    Jr. Board President

  9. Also, Ms. Friedman, if you are reading this, may I ask, is the board fully aware of the onslaught of letters being addressed to them? Are the copies getting through? I think there must be at least a hundred missives by now from subscribers, singers, directors, artists and the general public. Tony said he is getting copies of many of them, himself. Are they getting to the board?

  10. I don't know you, Ms. Friedman, but I thank you for your love of the Skylight and your courageous action in speaking out.

  11. I wonder if this is all part of the master plan? Get rid of all dissent, purge any ideas which may be different, and bring in a Board and new people ready to march in lockstep towards the bright new future of Eric Dillner's Skylight-yet-to-be...

    I didn't hear much contrition in Catalano this morning. Did you?

  12. Your resignation makes me so very sad. You are obviously a voice of reason and we are losing your voice and your vote on the board.

  13. Could be semantics. Mr. Dilner could have submitted materials to the board but not been there. Would sure be nice to know, though. "Eric was not present during the three-hour meeting last night." - Kurtenbach's exact words this morning.

  14. Later in this morning's session Eric himself made a reference to having been at the board meeting last night - said he'd presented some information.

  15. In 2009 "Change" is felt across the nation (or, at least promises of it), but no place stronger than the Skylight. I do not know what went on behind the scenes, so I am yet to take sides.

    One thing I do reckon is that I am not sure the people, be it singers, designers, directors or now board members, are making a levelheaded decisions. Stay in the circle and you may have a shot to steer the company somewhat. Bolt and you are only outside looking in. Only thing you can do outside of the circle is just to speculate and accumulate more anger and hate, that may or may not be justified.

    I am all for expressing opinions, but this is getting like a bad case of mobbing. What saddens me is to see people determined to run Eric out of town and decided within himself/herself not to accept any other conclusion, and people who seem to be enjoying it when another perso pulls out of the season. That's not productive at all.

  16. Dear Ms. Friedman,

    Thank you for the details of your letter. It certainly illuminates in fact, what has been speculated for the past 7 weeks.

    I remember well working with you while I still worked at the Skylight. Your insight, intelligence and true understanding and love of the arts is remarkable.

    Any arts organization would be lucky to have you on their Board of Directors. I suspect you will be getting many "asks" in the near future.

    Thank you for all you've done over the years and more particularly for all you tried to do in the past 7 weeks. No matter what any anonymous commenter says, I KNOW you tried with everything you had to make change happen at the Board level.

    All best,

    Paula Suozzi

  17. What? Just let these last seven weeks of trying to undo something horrendous, and lost wages, so we can stay in the circle? What circle are you talking about? Doesn't anyone tell the truth anymore? All these actions have been routinely and daily followed, if board members, only recieved 3 positive notes
    where are the others? I personally wrote to Eric Dillner....I can prove it because I ran it past someone and have a copy. That is one for sure and I know each and everyone of these resignations have stated bad blood for their reason to resign. Now, look it up, See for yourselves and get your head out of the sand...Just a little side, Why is the board refusing to pay unemployment benefits? You guys unemployed these people. Also one other thing many may not be aware of the time, learning music, studying the characters, and preparing venues for upcoming shows HAVE been in the works for sometime. Where do you think the Season Plans came from? I think I'm naive but at least I can see through this!

  18. Once again, we hear a voice telling us to be rational. Surely Eric can stay and we can all get along. If you are not outraged by Eric's performance as a managing director, you are not paying attention. I, for one, did try to work from the inside. I was shown the door. And just because I'm on the outside, don't think for a moment that I'm not still making myself a part of the conversation.

  19. I guess I'm a little troubled by this resignation... The reason being, the vote to retain Dillner last night was reportedly "very close." The board has already seen a few resignations in the wake of this mess... What if those board members had stayed on? Perhaps the vote last night would have turned out differently.

    I am in awe of the actors/musicians/directors who have decided not to be in the productions next season. But it is clear to me that the artists are not the decision makers. The board seems to be the decision making body of this beloved company. If the board keeps losing art friendly decision makers, Skylight will be no more... that is what is left of Skylight.

  20. Jamie, I understand where you are coming from, and at this point I do have to wonder if it can be restored to its former shape (I do also wonder if restoring is really the best option to begin with, as well. The "change" to come *might* not be all that bad). But calling then-colleague "slimey, sleazy, traitor..." on camera is not really "trying" to work from inside, is it? That was not really professional on your part, and that is why you were shown the door. Do you think it was also a part of the "master plan" of this conspiracy? Did they make you say those emotional words somehow?

  21. KUDOS to Mrs. Friedman for having the strength of character and principles to resign after last night's close vote to keep Dilner. But SHAME on the skylight for keeping dreck like Dilner, thus forcing good art-loving supporters like Friedman to decide that resignation is the only way. My bones to pick are with those lilly-livered 16 board members who voted for Dilner to STAY. They're the people we should be most upset with. Dilner's a joke, clearly an egomaniac with no scruples. But those 16 board members have some SERIOUS 'splainin' to do.

  22. Anon:

    That video of me was not posted by me, and was shot the day after I was fired. I had already been shown the door. Sorry, anon, your theory is wrong.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. That was not a Fred Pike moment. That was self-censorship. I have to say that I am a little offended to be called unprofessional by someone who will not reveal who she is, and someone who, for all I know, may have no stake in this whatsoever. Would it have been professional of me to fall-in-line with the new regime? By definition, yes. So, in this instance, color me unprofessional.

  25. anon...

    jamie's absolutely right, he did not post that video. i did. perhaps i should have edited the early part of it, but like jamie saying the things he did, in the heat of the moment, i was anxious to get it out there.

    seeing this dear man stand on the steps of a theatre he had just been fired from and tearfully lead the crowd singing "always" is what i will remember about that day. not the words you mention.

    did he say things in that video that riled some folks up? you bet. weeks later he's written a rather touching letter about it here.

    jamie spoke up, and spoke up loudly, right off the bat. he may have gone too far at times, in some people's estimation, but guess what – he paid for it with his job. and he got people's attention. and he wasn't afraid (along with molly, jonathan, and others) to stand up and speak out in catalano square this morning.

    i fully support anonymous commenting on this blog, and elsewhere. we all make errors, but if you're going to call someone out, especially without using your own name, do try to at least get the facts right.

  26. Hi: It's me, Elizabeth Friedman. Please call me Lili.

    I would like to clarify a few points:

    No, the loss of people on the Board of Directors is probably not some master plan though I grappled with that before I resigned. It has been heavily weighted over the past two years with people from the Business and Legal sectors. There are at least five people on that Board who are delighted that I am gone from the Board of Directors. They don’t have to look at me, answer my questions, listen to what I have to say, and don’t have to roll their eyes any more because I kept speaking up. But the good news is, now I can talk to you….No more silence.

    I want to clarify a few things.

    1. Eric Dillner was at the early part of the meeting last night as were 6 other staff members. This was the open part of the meeting and he presented 3 letters written to him that were singing his praises. Now, we all know he has received MANY more that are negative but he brought three that were positive. That's fair….not accurate…but still fair.

    2. When Terrance Kurtenbach was speaking today at Catalano Square he was referring to the closed part, the Executive Session of the Board of Directors. Never confuse an Executive Session with an Executive Committee….totally different. By definition, an Executive Session is only for current members of the Board of Directors. So it is correct that I can no longer go to the Board of Directors meetings and I can no longer vote. I have thought about that also. The only reason I could state in my Resignation what had occurred in that Executive Session was that the Skylight had already published the content and the vote totals BEFORE I actually submitted my Resignation. So there were no violations of any confidences. By the way, I don’t know Terrance Kurtenbach very well. I don’t know ho w he voted (it was a paper ballot) but he seems like a nice guy so let’s not vilify him unjustly.


  27. I am really tired of these half-truths. But there may be a logical explanation. They might have had a shorter board meeting and then gone into executive session, which would be closed to non-board members and staff. That might have been to 3 hour meeting, referred to. But if it was an executive session, i do not think they could have Colin participate. At least not the way the boards I serve on operate. Very confusing.

  28. (continued from above)

    3. Your letters: Yes, the Board of Directors received and still receives your letters. It is the Fiduciary responsibility of any and every Board Member to read all correspondence. That being said, there are many who DO read them and there are some who do not. Tone is very important. When you jump off the deep end, you give the ‘bad guys” (we should all have a collective hiss here) the upper hand. Chances are those people don’t read most of them anyway. Facebook Walls: please don’t use them. Yes, they are private spaces but unless you can tend to your Facebook wall every second of every day, you can quickly lose control of tone and content. A joke may be viewed entirely differently by a casual or critical observer.

    I am not lecturing anyone of you. To the many contributors: I do understand and appreciate what you have to say. I really couldn’t stay any longer. There is a line in Fried Green Tomatoes: “A lady always knows when it is time to go.” It was time for me to leave. I have and continue to read everything you write. I know you do have friends on the inside. A very good person has been put in place to serve as a liaison, her name is Tessa Bartels. She is a friend of the artistic community and should be treated as one. She works full time and has other duties but still has found time to read everything you have ever written. She is still on the inside.

    There is always the possibility that the Board of Directors will be forced to act by the Board of Advocates. That is my hope, unconventional, but still my hope. It was time for you to know that you DO have friends on the inside. I couldn’t speak from the inside.

    I don’t want to have you thinking that everyone is the enemy. There are some really fine people there. There are some fine people that voted “wrong”. But hopefully, sooner rather than later, they will realize that they HAVE to read what you have to say. They need to meet you, listen to you and think about what this means to the entire Skylight Community.. If the Board of Advocates can’t or doesn’t force the Board of Directors to act, the sheer economics of the situation will. While I keep emphasizing to you that there are good people on the inside, I want you to know that I have been saddened by every resignation, every note and letter you have written. But I know and so do the others who can read, have seen you perform, have met you or someday hope to meet you, how wonderful you all are.

    So thank you so much for your comments. I will meet you all someday soon I hope. But now I will be standing with you not facing you. And to Becky, Valcq and all of you, I sincerely hope that we will meet at an opening soon….at the Skylight Theatre.

    Hope this helps.

    Your dedicated friend,
    Lili Friedman

  29. You are an extraordinary woman, Lili Friedman. Thank you. Your passion, clarity, reason, courage, honor and commitment are inspirational.
    With great admiration and respect,
    Niffer Clarke

  30. Lil:

    Thank you for the comments. i thought there was an executive session. But i am under the impression that Colin Cabot was involved with that on the phone. If so, that is inappropriate in exec. session, since i do not believe he is a board member. Correct me if I am wrong.

  31. What a novel idea! Responding to a social media campaign by using social media, not with a press release! Bravo, Lili Friedman. Thank you for speaking up in public, in a place where people will see it. Perhaps your former colleagues on the board will learn from your savvy.


  32. Dan - I believe that Colin has been considered an "honorary" member of the BoD for some time.

  33. In answer to Dan's question:

    Colin Cabot is an honorary member of the Board of Directors and is listed in the Board of Directors Section of the Directors manual each year. By rules he can speak at a Board of Directors' meeting and can be present and/or speak in Executive Sessions. Unfortunately, he can not vote. Dan you are GOOD at the BOD rules! Have a good evening.

  34. Lili:

    Thanks for clearing that up. I guess I have been on enough boards. Actually, boards that have spent a LOT of time on board governance issues. And what I see from this board is mind boggling. Frankly, as bright, caring, and thought provoking as you are (as I see from our meeting in here) I am surprised you stayed with this as long as you did! I would love to meet you some day and look back on all of this. So many lessons to learn.

  35. Dear artists,

    I have been watching from the sidelines with great interest during this entire debacle as a third-party observer.

    I have been entirely sympathetic with your plight.

    But if you will indulge me, I think it is time to focus on what you DO want, specifically as you move forward, rather than your (righteous, certainly) outrage over what has transpired already.

    I believe many of you have washed your hands of the institution. But from what I can read, many of you still have a vested interest in the future of the theatre. If that is so, and as Ms. Friedman eloquently hints, you need to come up with an articulated, reasonable response to the events, and lay out in no uncertain terms, what YOU need to see happen before you can support Skylight again.

    You are on the side of the angels here, but the public is fickle. You risk losing that status of good-standing if the public begins to see you as vindictive, destructive, and unfocused. I've read some comments recently that favor the management over you. That is a recent phenomenon and I suggest it may be because you have not put forth a cogent statement of reconciliation.

    You have the ability to organize. You can strike! Many of you said you will. That is power and powerful. But you need a manifesto to strike, one that outlines the outcome that you see as acceptable.

    Form a counter-board. Find someone who is savvy in accounting to propose alternate "pie-charts" that save Mr. Theisen's jobs and those others whose jobs you feel warrant saving. And by the way, you may need to actually mention who needs to be re-instated before you would ever return to work.

    I think there are angels among the devils in the Board as it stands. But they tend to be pragmatic business people. You need to appeal to that side of their nature.

    In brief, organize (more), draft a credo, get that message to the press (the world is starting to take notice, you need to feed that), organize your protests, and be willing to force a sit-down, present yourselves as the professionals you are, and perhaps figure out where your bargaining chips lay and be willing to make some subtle compromises.

    I have nothing but great respect for all of you enduring this difficult time with your eloquence, your poise, and your passion.

    Jay Thomas

  36. 1. jay. excellent.

    2. lili. welcome.
    wanna have some fun? stick around with us on tuesdays after all this dust settles.

    3. patrick.
    bless lili, but a couple of other former board members / current boa members comment quite often. one is named katie, and one is named tim.

  37. Tony, after reading your blog for weeks, I want to finally thank you for the flow of information you provide... I was so grateful that you made it possible for me to follow the entire Catalano Square meeting from my desk in Germany...very cool. I still think of the Skylight as home, but after 25 years away (albeit with lots of experience working for well- and less well-run opera companies) I think I qualify as an outsider with an outside perspective. Listening to the audio from yesterday´s meeting, I can only strongly agree with the posts here from Jay and Lili. The intelligence, dedication and passion of the "Opposition" is so glaringly apparent-there is no way that you aren´t going to prevail in some form or other. I second the suggestions that you stay careful about the tone of the discourse (especially on-line). Again, I´m an outsider, but I didn´t hear any evil intentions in the meeting yesterday, just a potentially fatal problem with the "vision" thing and that bizarre "stay the course" attitude that continues to make us want to tear out our collective hair. The Skylight "family"-onstage and in the audience- simply IS the vision, and as soon as they are considered expendable the whole thing is done for. It´s going to be great to continue to follow this, as I have every confidence that you are going to channel all of this creativity in all kinds of positive ways. Bravo and gratitude to all of you!

  38. Lili--Thank you on behalf of all who work at the Skylight for your efforts, past and present, to help. And thank you especially for your articulate and specific comments regarding the Board meeting, the general character of the Board, and the good intentions that a majority of them have for the institution, regardless of how they may have voted on Thursday night. Your clarity is extremely helpful. The lack of information coming from the Skylight has fed the speculation that has cropped up in comments--it's very easy to imagine all kinds of conspiracies at work when we have no information!

    I also want to thank Jay for his words, and his warning. This IS becoming more public, more noticed, and just have we have parsed every word coming out of the Skylight, and every statement made by Eric or Terry in Catalano Square yesterday, we should expect that all of our comments will be examined just as specifically. With every board member I have spoken with, the word "tone" has come up in relation to the artists' communication--which means that yes, indeed they are reading and listening. We need to be prepared for this, and as Jay says we need to provide the public at large with a united message that is articulate, respectful, and leaves as little room as possible for misunderstanding.

  39. Does anyone know what happened at the Board of Advocates meeting yesterday? Anything?

  40. What happened cannot yet be disclosed. Rest assured things are happening.

  41. If something positive is happening that can't be disclosed, I hope they will get to it soon. I an returning our season tickets on Thursday (when our partner returns to town).

  42. A word about "tone" that may get lost in this long list of comments...
    I agree that some people may have done more harm than good in the early days, especially people who felt they had a personal vendetta. But,in defense of the passionate outcry, remember that everyone, including Bill, was blindsided by this announcement. The majority of the board, the staff, the BOA, the artists and the other stakeholders who love the Skylight DID NOT see this coming. Lack of any prior communication from the executive committee and/or Dillner definitely caused the initial tone of HORROR. The tone grew to HOSTILITY over the weeks and weeks that we didn't receive any further communication, justification, placation, etc.
    I understand that many on the board do not like "the tone" of "the mob." These are accountants and lawyers who are not used to dealing with crazy artists. But they have to take some responsibility for creating "the tone". Any forewarning of, or open communication about, the announcement would have prevented this "us vs. them" attitude. Whether or not it was a good decision--most think not--it was handled so poorly that it created this storm of anger. C'mon, own up and take some responsibility in this mess.
    With that said, I will do my best to speak politely from here on out.

  43. Dear annonymous,

    It's not a matter of doing harm or good with the past "tone" the crisis has taken. As I mention, I think you are all fully justified in your frustration.

    But one can choose to be either active or reactive in the face of poor treatment.

    I suggest that the time of the initial shock, the reactive time, has passed. Take the reins from them. The high road is one of action.

    There is no judgment here. In fact, I wish you well. You have my full support.


  44. Contributors from the board,

    If possible, could you tell us if there is some bits of information (financial standing, or whatever) that only the board members and Skylight executive staff know (and we don't) that may be the basis of how the voting went a couple of days ago?

    I mean, even Obama has sub-50% approval rating now for the last couple of days according to Rasmussen. For Eric to receive more than 50% of the confidence votes and be retained, I would have to think there is a pretty good reason behind it.

  45. ACTION is always a better course. When this all started some of the artists initiated a fund raising effort, but could not be assured that the funds would be used appropriately. That initiative could certainly be remounted when management changes.

  46. I'm sorry if anonymous thought that I or any of the other responders here are being judgmental when we mention "tone". You are right and justified in what you said. The announcement caught all of us out of the blue and I understand what you are saying. BUT let's remember we want to move forward. You are all heading in the right direction. Jay Thomas has very good suggestions. Let’s show the world how well behaved and talented you really are. The BOD is beginning to read MORE and are particularly watching this blog. Thanks Tony and everyone who writes in. I know of at least 3 new readers today from the BOD. Now we all have to watch "tone" because they are reading. Me included.

    I can only apologize from the bottom of my heart for the slowness of this process. And the poor "tone" on the part of the BOD and the administration for things you have so eloquently referenced. But let's try to become a "we". Let's try to unite and let us know how we can help. Yes, I'm on the outside now of the BOD. But I have some friends on the inside. I just couldn't wait for them to try to figure out how to begin to communicate any longer.....You are right. Everyone associated with this decision including the "powers that be" need to own up and take responsibility. But let's not give them anything to complain about now. Let's all hope that the BOD pulls it together QUICKLY and comes up with a satisfactory solution.
    I don't know any details of the BOA meeting. I know they are upset too. Remember, they weren't consulted or told about this ahead of time either. They want this resolved positively and immediately just like the rest of us. The meeting was closed and so I have no idea what transpired or what their actions are or can be. But these people have supported the Skylight in the past and currently. Let's hope they can help direct us and the BOD into the future. The "tone" reference is in all future interactions. I am NOT saying that the "tone" hasn't been faulty from the BOD and the staff. I think they have been tone deaf but there is hope. I see some glimmers. Do I want to see the sunrise quicker: YOU BET!

    My tickets came yesterday as did yours Dan. They are sitting on the counter. I was so angry yesterday that I wanted to turn them in. But I didn't. WHY? Because I believe that this may just turn around. I hope it does soon so the season can revert to the originals. I have no concrete knowledge of any of that at this point so I won't pretend I do. But, let's give this just a little more time. I'm not representing the BOD or the staff as you know. But I want to be there in row G to see the return of the real Skylight! If it looks like it won't happen, we can always stand in line later for returns. Let's just try to put them away where we can find them when we need them...Hopefully, for a joyous opening.

    As far as the BOA goes, don't judge them harshly. They put this whole theatre together and ran it in good times and in bad. We owe them everything. Let's hope they can help others whip it into shape NOW.

    And when they do, I have a few demands of my own.....OH OH here it comes:, Lili's Demands: I want you to remember that I have a few favorite songs.....Richard Carsey, Diana, Becky, Niffer, Ellie, Bill, Becky, Paula, Tony, Ray Norman, and ALL OF YOU exceptionally talented singers, musicians, and staff....that I want to see YOU ALL sing for us and with us. Hint: "You'll Never Walk Alone" old and corny but one of MY all time favorites. and an EXCELLENT MESSAGE. . So there Carsey and Theisen!. Just to let those of you other than Carsey and Theisen in on the joke, I have BEGGED for “Carousel” for years. But it is “too dark” I’ve been told. Well that SONG is NOT dark.. It’s about HOPE and knowing you are NOT alone. And you aren’t alone. And Tony ANYTHING from Mamma lead.


  47. i better not read any dancing queen jokes.

  48. I am erasing everything I have ever written about MAMMA MIA on Artsy Schmartsy because of the quite stunning Lili Friedman's humble song requests.

  49. ms. friedman, as your friend who has always admired your taste, energy, creativity, and committment, i only wish that the skylight would sincerely pay attention to your words. it will be so sad to lose this magnificent resource!
    pam langer

  50. Hey Lili,

    Remembering many meetings lobbying for Carousel with you! Miss you, and the Skykight board will sorely miss your talent, leadership and deep knowledge of musical theater.

  51. Hey Lili, I love Carousel, too! I promise to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone" for you any time you wish. In fact, I think it can be our new theme song..."though your dreams be tossed and blown, walk on, walk on with love in your heart..." You are a swell lady!


Inappropriate comments, including spam and advertising, will be removed.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.