What I’m Thankful For

Stefanie Townsend

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is an ageless tradition, full of friends, family, delicious food, and gratitude. Even though it was last week, during this season of thanks, I wanted to talk about all the things I am thankful for in theatre.


How could I not have these amazing people at the top of the list? Technicians should always be thanked. I’m thankful for the hours these people put in before, during, and after rehearsals. Before, during, and after the production. I’m grateful for the thankless work that they do to help the production thrive. For making actors look good with lights and costumes, for making actors sound good with mics or other equipment, getting them props and running them to them. For making scene changes flawless. I’m thankful for all that technicians do 24/7, 365 days a year. A production is nothing without you.

The Orchestra

Musicians will always be magicians to me. The way they can play beautiful music on their incredible instruments to help create the mood, world and atmosphere will never cease to amaze me. They help the actors find the right energy and tone to set the scene and the song. With musicians, we have more powerful, real, raw performances. No production or performance would be the same if the orchestra was not there to contribute their beauty and passion.

National Broadway Tours

Original cast recordings, in their own right, are incredible gifts. It’s a joy to be able to experience the show again and again and, in some cases, relive it. However, nothing compares to the joy of seeing a performance live. I’m grateful for the shows that go on tour, bringing theatre around the country and sharing their gifts with so many. To be able to see and hear all the performers – dancers, actors, musicians alike – to witness the brilliance of the designers and to constantly be blown away by the seemingly effortless transitions by the technicians is special. These tours invite people into their magical worlds and share their passion.


Being a performer is difficult for many reasons. It’s not always easy to find support and people who believe in you. The people who do, however, are phenomenal. Acting is difficult, cutthroat, disappointing, discouraging, frustrating. The ones who support you, help you keep your dream alive and continue to tell you to not give up are the ones I am beyond thankful for. How many acting careers may have been abandoned and dreams have been left behind without supporters? Support helps keep the hope alive.

There are plenty of things to be thankful for this season. As an actor, I’m thankful for all of this and more. Every journey, performance, and life wouldn’t be the same without our technicians, orchestras, supporters, and tours. We should always be aware of what we are thankful for and express our gratitude.

Photo: Marc Brenner