It’s opening night for the first show of the 2018-2019 season at the Pearl Theater. At a Take a Seat reception last night, I watched A Midsummer Night’s Dream from a brand-new patron sponsored seat with my name inscribed on it. I loved it!
The dreamlike set of A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a fitting tribute to Renee & Peter van Nifterik who founded The Pearl Theater by the seat of their pants in 2011. The theater-loving duo and company, aka The #Pearland Theatre Guild, performed at small venues around the area for several years before opening The Pearl.
“We were inspired by the enthusiasm we found in the community for a permanent theater and plunged ahead with our dream and said lots of prayers,” says Renee. “Here we are opening our eighth season with 86 patron sponsored seats, a greatly improved lighting grid, and a concrete sidewalk. We are grateful to our patrons and their generosity for making it possible.”
Starting a community theater without funding was an uphill battle. More than a few Angels made sizeable donations including several grants from the City of Pearland. The Guild found the perfect location, the right people showed up, sets were built, props appeared, lights were installed, and a thousand other things materialized, without fanfare, to let the magic happen.
Since 2011, The Pearl has staged 50 plays for adults and children. The old guard, a very long list, is as active as ever from the box office to back stage to center stage. I see old hands teaching new hands theater crafts…theater gets in your blood.
After recently completing graduate studies at Central Washington University, Renee has taken on her position as Artistic Director with gusto. Peter, a man of all seasons and talents, is on mark whenever and where ever needed. I cannot imagine #The Pearl without Renee & Peter and The Guild.
Using the Bard’s words from A Midsummer Night’s Dream: “Take pains. Be perfect”, have a wonderful season.