In my short history of renting performance spaces, I must say that the folks at Annex Theatre got it right.
Selecting Annex seemed like the logical choice: a play about a gay family for sure belonged on Capitol Hill. I have seen shows there, and liked the intimacy of the space. For a bit it seemed I had missed my boat and would not be able to rent it, thankfully that was not the case and the space was secured.
Once we got to the start of production, the folks at Annex went out of their way to make us feel part of a community, not annoying renters that deserve the least amount of attention. I was floored when I was offered use of their flats, and even more when they included the show on their website’s homepage. Furthermore, we got use of their “Now Playing” board and even the sandwich board on the sidewalk. The house managers – we had one every night – made sure we were taken care of, and went out of his/her way to make sure things were running smoothly for us, always willing to help us out if we got really busy or if we were missing front-of-house help.
I have to single out Meaghan Darling and Michael Hayes for making The Gene Pool a great production. Without their support it would not have been the same.
Maybe other theatres that rent their space follow similar policies, alas in the past few years that I’ve been dealing with rentals it has not always been my experience. Red-tape, being made to feel that as renters we should be grateful to at least get a place to perform, and even having to bring our own toilet paper and paper towels for performances summarizes what I’ve encountered. Using the street signage – much less being included on the web site – has been out of the question.
So yeah, the folks at Annex Theatre got it right. It should be no surprise that renting the space is a hot commodity, I know for sure I’m looking at doing other shows there in the future.