A Message from ACT
A Message from Rob Hanson
Dear ACT Family,
As we bid farewell to TJ Fantini as our President, I think back on the journey that has led us here. From his first audition to his relentless effort during the most challenging period in ACT’s history, TJ’s love, energy, and commitment to our theatre have been the lifeblood of our continued success. His decision to step down is bittersweet but guided by a vision for greater community service, and we wish him well.
I am humbled and honored to accept the torch passed on by TJ. Under his guidance, ACT has weathered unprecedented challenges, finding new strength and resilience. The road ahead is filled with promise and potential, and I am committed to leading ACT with the same passion and purpose that TJ has demonstrated.
Guided by our shared values of excellence, inclusion, creativity, and community advocacy, we will continue celebrating live theatre, engaging, educating, and entertaining all ages and abilities. Our focus on great performances, education, community well-being, and advocacy for the arts remains steadfast.
Now, more than ever, we need your help. Our volunteers, patrons, and community members have always been the heartbeat of ACT. Whether you’ve been with us for decades or are just discovering your love for theatre, your time, talent, and energy are vital to our growth. We invite you to be part of this exciting chapter, where we will write new stories, create lasting memories, and produce great shows!
With the unwavering commitment of our dedicated board members and their committees, we are working on a plan to strengthen our organization. Your trust and encouragement are the cornerstones of our shared success. Stay tuned for updates on our progress through our newsletter and social media posts, where we’ll share insights, news, and ways you can be part of ACT’s exciting growth. Also, mark your calendars for our annual membership meeting in November—an opportunity you won’t want to miss as we gather to reflect, celebrate, and envision the future of Anacortes Community Theatre together.
ACT is more than a theatre; it’s a community, a family, a place where dreams come alive, and friendships thrive. I look forward to seeing you at the theatre. Come share the joy of creativity and working hand in hand to ensure that ACT’s best years are truly ahead.
A Message from TJ Fantini
Dear Anacortes Community Theatre patrons, volunteers, friends, and family,
My first experience with ACT was auditioning for the Sound Of Music in 1988. Spoiler alert, I didn’t make it into the show, but that audition did begin what has been an almost 40-year love of Anacortes Community Theatre. I’ve been on stage and backstage, ran the lights, directed, and of course, most recently, had the distinct honor of serving as President of the Board of Directors for the past almost six years.
During those six years, myself and the board as a whole were faced with many challenges from staffing changes to the devastating Covid pandemic where the first time in the history of our theatre – the show did not go on. I, along with many others, worked tirelessly over the past few years to make sure that our theatre would survive and rebound both financially and culturally. I am the last board member standing from our group of 7 that were tasked with making sure the theatre survived the pandemic – and thanks to the amazing support from a generous community – we have.
I have always found myself called to situations that need the talents of an individual with boundless energy, relentless optimism, fresh ideas, and a will-not-quit-at-any-cost attitude, and that is why I believe this theatre chose me to be its President through the most trying time in its nearly 60-year history.
Today I write to you because, after almost six years as the President of ACT, the time has come for me to step aside to pursue other endeavors. I am currently running for a position on the Anacortes City Council (another place that I believe could use my energy and optimism), and to truly do this correctly and hopefully win a spot on the council come November, it is going to take all of my time and effort. I believe that our city is coming to a time of great transition – and just as I have helped lead the theatre through its very difficult transition – I truly believe I can help the Mayor and council better our city and be a voice of measured leadership to help us get through a lot of the tough issues the city is currently trying to navigate.
This was not an easy decision, and I would not have come to it if I didn’t believe that we have a board and staff capable of continuing the path we have been on for the past six years. While I am stepping down as President, I will remain on the board until December, when my board term ends. I will still be involved both on stage and off and hope to contribute in many ways to help our theatre continue to build on what has already been nothing short of an astounding, rebounding first season back for live theatre.
We are lucky to have such an engaged board and volunteer base that loves our theatre so deeply. Much to my delight (and relief), Rob Hanson has been unanimously elected as my replacement as Board President. Rob was elected to the board during Covid and has selflessly given many hours both to our theatre and personally to me as my most trusted advisor as we’ve navigated the transition of our theatre. We are all lucky to have someone as intelligent, compassionate, measured and who shares a great love of our theatre as Rob. He will no doubt make his mark just as I have made mine. His greatest strength, in my humble opinion, is organization, and that is something the theatre so desperately needs as our new staff continues to gain their strong footing. I encourage you all to trust him and support him along with our other board members, who are really working hard to grow our theatre. I have no doubt they will continue to succeed.
I want to thank the teachers and students of “Trashing the Camp” (you know who you are) for reminding me seven years ago of the love I have for theatre and turning my heart that had been broken from my years in Los Angeles back on again – you truly have no idea what a turning point in my life that class was for me.
I’m most proud of being a founding member and director of Aktion Theatre (a group I will continue to be involved with), as well as leading the theatre through Covid and making sure we survived it. Walter, I heard your voice often in my head, and I know you helped guide us. I’m proud to have helped Class Act survive and find a new home at The Buxtons Art Center after we lost The Annex to Covid.
I’m looking forward to seeing you all around the theatre (and hopefully on the campaign trail.) Thank you to everyone who has supported this vision and offered words of encouragement over the years through phone calls and emails, those who have continued to believe in and support our theatre through our transition, I thank you. Most importantly, I want to thank my wife Torie and my son Luca who have sacrificed many, MANY hours to allow me to do this crazy thing we call theatre, any accomplishment at ACT that is attributed to me should be equally yours as well.
Our best years are ahead, and from my grateful heart, thank you again for trusting me with this important responsibility.
The torch is officially passed to Rob and those that come after. Please direct all future complaints there.
Sincerely A Grateful (now past) President of the Board,