Very soon the 20-year run of the The American Century Theater (TACT) will fade into a ghost light -a light that we theater folk know is left lit onstage to protect us from misbehaving spirits and ghosts.
So, this is just a public and personal tip-of-the hat in the daylight to the The American Century as it takes its final bow. So you know, I write this as one who for 8 years during the middle part of the American Century Theater’s 20 seasons, relished being the company’s Marketing Director. For over 40 shows from 1999-2007, I had the pleasure to work with delightful theater folk both seen and unseen by the audience. All those who made a live production possible, whether or not it was a critical or audience hit. Whether awards were received or not.
One forms close bonds in the theater. Well, I certainly did. I think it was David Mamet who some years ago described those in the performing arts as belonging to a tribe. Something like a tribe of folk surrounded by like-minded people speaking a common language; within a small, contained, cohesive, mutually responsible group.
“Show-business people share a soft pity for those who would like to join but cannot or have not.” Mamet wrote. (The Wicked Son, page 135).
So, American Century will join a list of theaters no longer producing here in the DC area that paved the way for what is now and what may come in the future. Each of these now departed theaters has its own ghost light. I salute them all. And with this particular In the Moment column note; and as TACT strikes its final set, my best to the American Century Theater’s very own ghost light. I hope it does not fade to black too soon.
And to Artistic Director Jack Marshall: my own salute!
Here is the list of productions performed by The American Century Theater.