I am really proud of the way the industry and community that I work in have embraced this endeavor. I have been humbled by the way people have not only said "Yes," but "Thank you." That is something I didn't expect. People have really loved the chance to come together and help in some small way but for me it is more than that, it is about just being toegther. Hearing about what our fellow New Zealanders have gone through in Christchurch we are all now so much more aware of the idea and importance of community and people. Theatre is one of the most human of the arts because you have to be there - it won't turn up on telly later. It is the experience you will have tonight in this room with those around you and the performers on stage.
Bare will always hold a special place in my heart and career. I remember vividly standing on stage at the Silo (now The Basement) for the very first show and feeling that audience of 90 people almost gasp as Madeleine Sami launched into the first monologue. I could feel their pride and astonishment and joy in hearing themselves as a people reflected and honoured on stage. Now 12 years, 9 months, 22 days later Bare will again allow us to honour, enjoy and revel in ourselves. To quote a great song from Sesame Street, "These are the people in your neighbourhood."