Third Annual SUMMER HUMMER Raises Over $18,000
Last night, the third annual Summer Hummer added more than $18,000 to the coffers of Taking Care of Our Own, an emergency fund administered by theatreWashington that provides short term assistance to theatre artists in need. Directed by Signature Theatre's Artistic Director Eric Schaeffer and Associate Artistic Director Matthew Gardiner, Summer Hummer: Ménage à Trois filled the Signature stage with more than 60 area performers, each ready to give their raunchy best for a good cause.The night of bawdy burlesque got off to a rollicking start with "All Good Things Cum in Threes," by composer-lyricist Chris Youstra. Other highlights include an all-male line-up of hot dog barkers and a production number in which performers revealed more and more of themselves as the audience made higher and higher donations. Pre-show perks included a chance to be photographed with the stars and to pose in life-size cut-outs of the three strippers in Signature's recent production of Gypsy. theatreWashington President & CEO Linda Levy commented, "I never know what to watch-Washington's finest bumping-and-grinding on stage or the enormous smiles of people in the audience who are absolutely giddy with delight." The importance of the evening, though, is never far from Levy's mind. "We had people on stage tonight who benefited from this fund, who got back up on their feet because of it. Creating a financial safety net for theatre artists in our region makes an enormous difference. It sends a very clear message: we value you." In addition to producing the Summer Hummer, theatreWashington solicits funds forTaking Care of Our Own, through individual donations, and through the Bucket Brigade, in which actors give curtain speeches at a rotating schedule of theatres, then pass among the exiting crowd with bright yellow buckets. Distribution of Taking Care of Our Own funds are administered by theatreWashington, in association with an advisory panel of theatre leaders. To date, tens of thousands of dollars have been allotted to those with proven need.