Isis Theatre Company has been Idyllwild’s premiere theatre company since the summer of 2003 when the little-known theatre company produced a 5-man show called “Sundance” on the little-known deck of Café Aroma. Success followed immediately with 8 smash performances of “Sylvia ” at Town Hall in August of the same year. The rest, as they say, is History.
To date, Isis has presented over 50 plays and readings in Idyllwild in 11 years. At the helm is Suzanne Avalon, its founder, artistic and creative director. It was Suzanne’s strong conviction that we have the cultural benefits of live theatre on our Hill that brought Isis into the world and into the public eye.
Suzanne and the Isis Board produce all of the performances: Suzanne also directs and appears on stage from time to time.
There are no salaries for the good works and good shows. The actors, directors and techs that work the shows donate their time and talent. Volunteers (usually board members) man the refreshments tables and then put the chairs away and sweep up when it’s over. So it’s not all glamour, smell of greasepaint, roar of the crowd after all.
There is no dedicated theatre venue in Idyllwild, so Isis has had to work hard to locate “found spaces” for all of its productions, including the Fire Station, the Caine Learning Center, the Rustic Theater, Rush Hall at Idyllwild Arts Academy, and even a few local business locations: Earth’n Fire, Skye at Night, the Idyllwild School of Dance, Quiet Creek Inn, the Living Room Gallery, and the Idyllwild Wine Bar. Whew. That is a lot of moving around of lights, stages, sound equipment, actors, props, and costumes.As ticket sales represent only a fraction of the cost to produce a show, it has been important for Isis to own equipment, rather than rent and haul it up and down the hill. Over the years, Isis applied for grants from the Idyllwild Community Fund for lighting, sound equipment, and a portable stage. These wishes have been granted and now Isis is a fully equipped theatre company (that has and will continue to share this equipment with other Idyllwild non-profits).
Currently, Isis is happily ensconced at the Rainbow Inn where The First Friday Readers Theatre is performed
The choice of plays is critical to the theatre company’s mission. They are committed to bringing material to the stage that enlightens and holds a mirror up to reflect the human condition. Sometimes edgy, sometimes unstoppably funny, Isis brings a highly diverse kind of material not usually found in local community theatre. Not an amateur group, Isis enlists professional actors and directors to bring the magic to the stage.
Isis also gives back and has benefited so many deserving causes with their shows, including the Fire Dept. Equipment Fund, Susan Komen Foundation, CASA (Center Against Sexual Assault) Matthew Sheppard Foundation, ARF, The Help Center, and most recently donated the proceeds of the 2013 Christmas Show to us at ICF.
Isis Theatre Company’s goal is to raise the bar of excellence for live theatre, and they are succeeding mightily.