Donor Spotlight: Gerry and Betty Stacy
Tell us about your first experience at the Alley Theatre.
We first attended an Alley play Balm in Gilead about 30 years ago on one of our first dates. We were not subscribers then, but something about the Alley and that production got us thinking about becoming subscribers. Subsequently, we became subscribers due in large part to Gregory Boyd’s skill in picking great plays and in part to the resident company of amazing, talented actors.
What prompted you to make your first donation in 2010?
As well as the Alley, we are subscribers to the Houston Texans, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and the Broadway Series at the Hobby Center. We also do a lot of volunteer work for our church, Rotary club, and other local organizations. We decided in 2010 that we would support ONE of those organizations more than the others. Of all our subscriptions, IF we had to pick just one, we both agreed it would be the Alley. And so it was a no-brainer for us to donate to the Alley.
Why do you not only continue to support the Alley, but also serve on our Individual Giving Committee?
Let us start by noting that over the years, as we attended Alley plays and were invited to attend some working rehearsals, we wanted to become involved—doing more with, and for, the Alley Theater. Attending events with both the actors and the Alley's support staff has been a wonderful experience for both of us. Being on the Individual Giving Committee, we can see more of the "inner" workings of the Alley. We want to support the Alley, the resident actors and those wonderful staff members who have become more like friends. Gerry and I are both retired, and we have time available to help in ways that use our experience and talents. The committee is just one way to support.
In closing our answer to this question, we believe that the strength of the arts depends on the willingness of individual citizens to support institutions like the Alley. By concentrating on individual donations and growing the number of donors, the Alley will be better able to prosper. In many past cultures, the “patrons of the arts” were wealthy donors in positions of power. Now, the economic power of ordinary citizens like us makes it possible for us to be those patrons who ensure the continuing life of the arts.
What Alley productions--past or present--stand out to you?
There are so many great Alley productions that it is hard to choose. We like all of the Shakespeare plays; the Summer Chills are always excellent; and A Christmas Carol in its many variations has been terrific. The plays on the Neuhaus Stage downstairs challenge us to "think outside the box." We like both comedy and tragedy, seeing the different resident actors assume different personas, and experiencing a variety of different thoughts and emotions. When we first came to the Alley, prior to Gregory Boyd, we were less enthusiastic because the choice of plays was not that appealing. Since then, we believe the Alley has become a beacon of hope for us theater goers, hope in the sense that while we don’t know what to expect in each new production, we know that we will be pleasantly surprised.
You come to many of our donor events, what about them appeals to you?
The donor events are a great way to meet other donors at many different levels of support. Getting other people's opinions on various issues is always enjoyable for us. Having the opportunity to converse with the actors and staff is especially appealing. As a result of our experiences, we have encouraged our friends who are subscribers to participate at a greater level, and some of them have.