Thomsen Talk: Sabbati-what?!
As QCT enters into its second CENTURY of theatre entertainment and education, I enter into something quite unusual in my own professional life….a sabbatical. Years ago, I remember hearing of pastors and college professors taking a sabbatical, but I didn’t really know what that meant. Trusted professionals disappear for a period of time, perhaps to work on a project, and then return reinvigorated. The idea of me, as artistic director of QCT, taking a sabbatical is one I have brought up every so often, but the timing was never right; but now, here we are: the time has come for Brandon J. Thomsen to take his sabbatical. As the Lutherans are prone to say, “what does this mean?”
From March 1 to December 31, 2024, I will have a leave of absence. This is to seek out professional development and other opportunities that will enhance my ability to complete the duties and responsibilities associated with my role of Artistic Director, including artistic integrity, budgeting, efficiency, and creating a valued experience for volunteers, staff, and patrons. The intention is that I will take in as much theatre as I can, visit other theatre organizations, guest direct at other theatres, and, ultimately, bring back to QCT my experiences. I hope that this will be a time to refresh and to return to QCT with new ideas.
This fall, I am arranging for our production teams for all the shows in 2024, which will include guest directors. The adult mainstage shows in 2024 will utilize a guest director, and I think this is a wonderful opportunity for our volunteers to work with different artists and experience different styles. It will also give our audiences the chance to experience different directors’ perspectives, while still under the umbrella of QCT’s artistic voice and commitment to quality. In January and February, my focus will be on QUILTAS and launching the year, and throughout the first half of the year, I will curate the selections for the 2025 season.
I am so grateful that QCT supports me in this way, offering me the opportunity to grow through different strategies. It speaks to QCT’s mission of quality entertainment and education, even for staff members. I admit, the idea of being away for a while is rather frightful, but I believe it is important to take the risk. I am excited to learn and to return as a wiser, stronger director and leader for this organization.