Dear Pentacle patron:

I am a storyteller. 

You are a storyteller. 

For as long as humans have formed communities, we have been storytellers.  The urge to connect with one another unites us, and allows our connections to span time and place. I want to share my story with you.

And, I also want to encourage you to support the vital storytelling that happens at Pentacle Theatre. 

I am a theater teacher. Since I was a child, all I wanted to do was perform. Hours were spent before the mirrored feature wall in my childhood home practicing the perfect melodramatic face. The number of times I subjected my younger brother to “It’s time to play school!” was an early sign that I’d go into teaching.

That’s me in 2020’s Murder on the Orient Express!

I delighted in theater in middle and high school and was active on stage and backstage as a costumer.  At Western Oregon University, I double majored in Theater and Language Arts Teaching and became endorsed in both and in Public Speaking. I started my professional career at South Salem High School, a wonderful place full of supportive colleagues and creative potential.

For years, it was exhausting but also fantastic and enriching. I was happy to pour all my energy into my work.

Fast forward a decade. I was buried. 

I was directing and producing between three and seven shows per year at South. I was taking students on multi-day field trips to see and create more theater. It left me exhausted and – after a decade of this grind – I was on a sure path to burnout.

I struggled to find my joy.

My creativity was more stifled with each passing show. I was distant from the art I was making.  I became more sour about the time it took and the energy output needed to provide opportunities for students. I began to resent the very work I loved.

Sounds like time to leave the profession, right? 

I did a lot of soul-searching.

I was in desperate need of rejuvenation. I needed something that would “fill my cup” so I’d be able to joyfully give to my work again.

I looked for inspiration in the words of the theater greats. Oscar Wilde’s words spoke to me:

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

I’d lost that sense of what it was to BE a human being.

I’d lost the plot.

I’d lost the story.

Something was missing…

And, much to my surprise, that something was Pentacle Theatre.

Despite having gone to Western, I’d never seen any shows at Pentacle or gotten involved with any of their productions.

Despite the wonderful student night and community night opportunities at Pentacle Theatre, I’d never taken students there.

I didn’t know what I was missing until I found it.

I discovered Pentacle. 

Rejuvenation was on its way! 

That’s me in my first Pentacle production: Crimes of the Heart.

As a part of Pentacle, I have the opportunity to experience professional development. When my students say, “we saw you, doing the thing you are teaching us about doing,” or when they discuss Pentacle production elements analytically and with specificity – those are priceless moments.

As a part of Pentacle, I have the opportunity to grow my craft. And that makes me more empathetic as an educator: more kind, more patient, more connected to what I ask of my students: to be vulnerable, to take risks, to try things with which they are unfamiliar…on a daily basis. I am grateful for the opportunities Pentacle has given me to be, as Wilde said, a human being.

The next generation of citizens, performers, and technicians is in the Pentacle audience and on the stage. Working beside my students and those from other schools is a gift that allows us both to learn and grow in a different type of mentorship than the classroom allows.

With your financial support, you too can be a part of developing that next generation of storytellers.

I’ve seen young people be inspired as audience members and as performers and technicians, collaborating and working cooperatively and creatively to tell stories, investing and reinvesting in our community.

Pentacle connects our past to our future. It allows those whose daily lives are part of the workforce to have a creative outlet – and speaking as one in the arts, and as one in the workforce, this outlet is so very, very necessary.

Pentacle allows us to tell stories. 

Now, it’s up to you – to us – to make sure Pentacle is there for this generation and the next and the next to tell their stories. Your financial support makes it possible. 

    From one storyteller to another, thank you in advance for supporting the vital and exciting storytelling that takes place at Pentacle Theatre.

    You are a crucial part of the story.

You are the difference-maker.

Julianna Gibbons

Storyteller, Educator, and Proud Pentacle Supporter

P.S. You can support Pentacle storytelling in so many ways. You can make a secure contribution online. And…please consider becoming a Sustaining Donor.