In 1997, during the first festival, I was sitting at my desk. . . which was in the front window of The Piano Store on Ludlow Street. Everyone else was either answering phones, selling tickets, or just running around putting out fires. Sometimes literally. We were all exhausted, hot, malnourished, sleep deprived, anxious and frankly – wondering if we’d survive.

It was at this point that Stefan, one of our founding tech directors, ran through the front door of FringeCENTRAL. And without uttering a word, he plunked down a bottle of Vitamin C on my desk. We made eye contact, and smiled, and then he left as quickly as he’d come. We didn’t exchange a single word.

Here he was, taking care of everyone else – and yet he’d imparted a really important bit of Stefan wisdom in a very Stefan way in that moment: It’d be impossible to take care of our artists if we didn’t first take care of ourselves. I still have the bottle of Vitamin C. . . . .




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