Big Gratitude. Big plans.

When we began in 2013 with The Tragedy of Othello, we didn’t have a five year plan. We knew only that we were committed to a few ideals. The show would have a minimalist design and be actor-centered, with an intimate staging that allowed for vulnerable authentic moments in which audience and actors shared the same breath and could see one another’s sweat and tears. Moments that were real, and live. As a group, we were committed to the idea of having no artistic director for RLT, with the direction of the company being determined by a team of governing members who would make decisions through a consensus model. We were determined to share the financial proceeds from every show fairly amongst all the artists involved. And we agreed that ongoing artistic training would always be a part of our model.

Now here we stand with four more mainstages under our belt: RLT originals The Lion and the Clown: A Rumi Lovesong for Beauty and the Beast and The Life and Death of Queen Margaret, and the contemporary plays She Kills Monsters and When Last We Flew, along with numerous staged readings, HousePlays, residencies, tours to multiple venues in the North East (including NYC and an award-winning trip to the Ithaca Fringe Festival), acting classes, workshops, open trainings, and kick-ass parties, and every single one of these projects has upheld those ideals to which we committed when we first began. It has been a real, live, half-decade for us, and if not for the support we received from YOU, we would not be where we are today.

Now we are actually working on a five year plan. It includes an upcoming season of intimate and honest productions, including Ellen Morbyrne’s new play Far Reaches and an early workshop of Toby Vera Bercovici’s feminist adaptation When the Mind’s Free (inspired by King Lear), the latter of which will feature RLT actors as well as artists from Maine and NYC. In 2020 we plan to produce our first full-scale season of mainstage productions. We will continue to host open trainings, in which we strengthen and build our community. We will continue to offer workshops which give our fellow artists tools to make the world of theatre safer and more inclusive. Check out our Classes & Workshops page to see all that we are currently offering!

We are seeking a space, one we can share with other artists, to finally call our home base.  

We can’t do these things alone. To do an intimate, minimal show is still quite expensive. We have been lucky to work with generous writers and venues, but nonetheless, producing a simple show for a short run costs thousands of dollars. Licensing fees, space rentals, equipment rentals, costumes and set pieces (yes even those simple blocks!) add up. And that's not accounting for the invaluable time of our deeply committed and hugely talented artists. For our last production, each of our artists only made about $1 an hour. With more resources, we can do better: we could compensate our artists more fairly including travel and childcare expenses; we could provide more meaningful access and engagement to our communities, including subsidized tickets, longer performance runs, and accessible spaces. The more people who pledge their support, the more RLT can keep theatre a real, live, vibrant art form that does more than entertain - we can expand our capacity to build bridges and tear down walls.

You can join us in our mission to uplift and enrich the cultures of the Pioneer Valley by making Real Live Theatre part of your yearly giving. Whether it be $100 or $1,000, your commitment to making an annual gift to Real Live Theatre will help us secure new space and create compelling new productions.

If you make a commitment of at least $100 annually for the next three years, we will subscribe you to our whole season for those years and thank you in our programs. If you commit to $500 or more annually for the next three years, you will receive those same benefits plus invitations to VIP audience events.

What does your donation do for us? $100 pays the royalties for one night's performance. $400 pays our annual insurance premium. $700 pays for all the lighting equipment needed for a production. $1,500 pays for four weeks of an actor's time plus a small stipend for childcare or travel. $5,000 makes it possible for us to secure a physical home, one in which to create impactful new works, and to share with our communities.

If you own a business or have goods or services to offer, please get in touch with us; a three-year commitment of your financial or in-kind support lets us promote your business with an ad in our programs and across our online platforms.

Thank you for our first fabulous five years. It has been a privilege to serve our communities' need for meaningful inspiration. We look forward to the next five years of artistic service!

Have something else to donate?  Space?  Carpentry?  Lighting or sound equipment?  Radio ad spots?  Please email us at to discuss what you'd like to offer.  Thank you!