Even if you haven’t yet seen "Becky’s New Car" at Venice Theatre, there’s still a week left — it runs through Sunday, Oct. 20. Seattle-based Charlie Staadecker has seen the play in 27 different cities on more than 100 stages. And not just because it’s a funny play, but because without Staadecker — Becky might have never had a new car.
Staadecker wanted to give his wife, Benita Staadecker, a special birthday gift for her 60th birthday in 2007. His wife had everything, so he was challenged to come up with something unique and exciting. In late October 2006, he commissioned a play from Steven Dietz.
Dietz had worked with ACT Theatre for many years, on which Benita Staadecker sat on the board. Charlie Staadecker worked with the artistic director of the theater company, Kurt Beattie, to help commission the play. He didn’t want something dark, he wanted a comedy — it was his wife’s big birthday, after all. Out came "Becky's New Car." They were thrilled.
"We are not some rich couple," Charlie Staadecker writes in an email. "Far from it … we just made a choice to forego a major vacation, a cruise, a new car, etc and invested that same money to help create a legacy work of art."
Staadecker hopes to share his story with the community so that he might inspire more couples to commission art.
"You can do this, too!" he says. "It's a wonderful way to fund the arts, and not nearly as expensive as one would think."
For more information about "Becky's New Car," read Marty Fugate’s review here.
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