For the past seven years, October has marked the beginning of the coming Introspect season. This October, however, we reflect on the past seven years as a difficult decision has been reached to close Introspect’s doors.
Introspect has never been a guarantee year to year, as it has relied on its numerous supporters and more importantly the youth to step up to assume responsibility. We have always been committed to continuing Introspect so long as there were young artists who had stories to tell and who were willing to step up and take on leadership positions. Every year we begin and close the season by sharing this information, and unfortunately this year we did not receive the number of applications necessary to fill these required positions to ensure the continuation of the company. Due to this and several other reasons, we have decided that Introspect will no longer continue.
Introspect was never intended to be the final stop for any of its members, and the great successes that our alumni have gone on to achieve is a testament to this. Introspect is more than a specific location or company--it is an idea that is meant to impact the way our alumni interact with their communities for the rest of their lives. Just because Introspect’s door is closing does not mean that the ideas cultivated within those walls must die. Introspect was founded with the intent to create avenues for young artists to share their ideas. While not always easy, artists are constantly tasked with discovering new ways to have their work seen and heard. Introspect is not the only venue which fosters this idea, and artists can continue to be successful if they apply themselves and choose to take the initiative. Introspect’s intent was to help young artists understand the challenges associated with this process while equipping them with the knowledge to go out and do just that. That is the specific reason in 2012 Introspect created the Playwright Workshop and Choreography Showcase (most currently known as The New Works Festival). So while Introspect has never been the final destination for any of its members, maybe that too can be said of the company itself. To all the artists who may feel negatively impacted by this: do not look at this as an opportunity no longer available, but rather as a new opportunity for you to grow and create incredibly personal and powerful art.
Introspect has been fortunate enough to have had seven successful seasons, for which we are eternally grateful. There are many people and organizations who have helped contribute to this success. First, thank you to our partner organization, Everest Academy for the Arts, for their neverending support. Additionally, thank you to both Central Wisconsin Children’s Theatre and Wausau Community Theatre for our past partnerships in 2009 and 2012. Thank you to the University of Wisconsin-Marathon County Center for Civic Engagement, D.C. Everest High School, Wausau Conservatory of Music, and Grand Theatre for sharing your venues with us over the years. Thank you to the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, the Greenheck Foundation, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Department Benevolent Association, and Marine Automated System Technology for your contributions towards youth arts education throughout the years. A special thank you goes out to Abe Gabor, Steve Vesper, and LuAnne Richards for believing in the wild ideas of a 19-year-old and helping to make those dreams a reality. And last, but certainly not least, our greatest supporter over the years, Dave Junion. Dave, thank you for pushing us to continue year after year and for being so much more than just an artist we collaborated with. You have continued to inspired us to make a tangible impact within our community and have been an exemplary role model in regards to that and so much more. Finally, thank you to all of our alumni, their families, and anyone who has attended a performance. Your involvement and support has been invaluable over the years.
So while Introspect has never been the final destination for any of its members, maybe that too can be said of the company itself. To all the artists who may feel negatively impacted by this: do not look at this as an opportunity no longer available, but rather as a new opportunity for you to grow and create incredibly personal and powerful art. We are proud of the seven seasons we have shared with the Wausau community, but we are even more proud that all the work created stemmed from our mission statement. While this may be the end for Introspect, we hope that all those involved or in some way impacted by our work will continue to bear in mind our core beliefs and apply them as they continue to advocate social awareness in their communities:
We are the future. We are not apathetic- we are driven. We celebrate that each one of us is unique and believe we can all make a difference. We believe we will change the world someday, just give us the chance and we will outshine your greatest expectations.
We wish you every success and happiness in the future, and look forward to seeing the ways in which the Wausau Theatre Community continues to grow in the future.
Thank you for seven years full of incredible memories and experiences.