I’m Julieanne, or as many Griffs call me—JC! I run the business side of Griffin, which as you can imagine has had its challenges in recent years. But my wellspring of joy comes from seeing a play on that postage stamp of a stage that makes me laugh and cry and think—I’m not alone. A golden truth is spoken that makes me see or feel life with greater intensity, somehow affirmed and more connected. It is a gift. (And if you need an injection of this joy, come see Ghosting the Party which finishes next Saturday 18 June!)
I’m currently reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and she writes in detail about the significance of the Thanksgiving Address. ‘This ancient order of protocol sets gratitude as the highest priority. The gratitude is directed straight to the ones who share their gifts with the world.’ It’s really made me think about giving and reciprocity. The duty and responsibility that comes with receiving a gift—whether it’s from mother earth, from a writer’s sometimes dark and beautiful truth, or from you—someone who comes to the worn and wonky SBW Stables Theatre, loves it like we do, and supports Australian stories. Your support is so much more than buying a ticket or donating. It says: what you do matters. And that, to our artists and arts workers, is gold. (And speaking of gold—Golden Blood by Merlynn Tong kicks off in just two weeks! Currently in rehearsal and will be a must-see!).
So this is my thank you—to you (yes you, sitting at home, at work, or reading this on your phone on the train). Thank you for unwaveringly coming back to see plays at Griffin. Thank you for years of loyalty to this ‘theatre of first chances’. Thank you for your enthusiasm, for your feedback, for your love of new Australian work, and for your support of the arts.
Like me, your inbox is probably getting extra attention these days with End of Financial Year requests. You may even have received one from Griffin with the hilarious and talented Anthony Yangoyan (who many would recognise from Dogged in 2021) shivering in the cold or patting dogs of different shapes and sizes. If you’re really listening, you might even recognise the golden tones of Grif-fave Rebecca Massey (Kill Climate Deniers, First Love is the Revolution) contributing her voice and hilarity to the videos!
As well as giving thanks, I have a responsibility to ensure your support of our theatre company makes a difference. And at Griffin, it does. It means scripts get extra time on the floor with actors, allowing writers to make critical changes before their beloved play reaches the stage. It means emerging and mid-career artists get mentored for a year which can be transformative (Suzie Miller was a Studio Artist in 2012; Prima Facie is now playing on the West End!). It means young theatre lovers across Sydney get to come to the SBW Stables Theatre for free and learn from theatre professionals through our Griffin Ambassadors program. Philanthropy fuels a HUGE part of what we do at Griffin, and every dollar counts.
We are so grateful to be back doing what we love, and so grateful to you for loving what we do. I really hope to see you in the theatre soon. Bring on the joy!