'The Gift of the Magi' Director's Note

Posted November 10, 2021

Apt2021 Web Heros Horiz Gift Of The Magi 06

Soon, we'll begin our journey into the holiday season with The Gift of the Magi, holding its first performance in the Touchstone Theatre on November 26. Director Malkia Stampley believes "we all deserve some holiday cheer this year!" and we whole-heartedly agree. Check out her director's note for more!

What are you grateful for?

What matters most?

What is love?

What do you really need?

How many times have you asked or answered those questions over the last 20 months? When you have lost so much - what you counted on to provide for your family, foresight of what lies ahead - what have you gained? For many, when confronted with those very questions, the answer is clarity.

The Gift of the Magi is more relevant now than ever before. There was no need to explain in rehearsals what it means to put oneself in Jim and Della’s shoes; to imagine working with a shrinking budget, rising above disappointment, daring to ride the wave of hope, all while knowing there are so many going through so much worse. Returning to live theater has made us hyper aware of the humbling lessons we’ve learned in 2020 – the exponential growth and profound respect and admiration gained for those who choose this calling to create art and for those who choose to support it.

Look, we all deserve some cheer this holiday season! Things are not back to normal, there are still some things to reconcile, navigate through, and yes, in due time and with determination, we will. But you, my friend, are here. And I am grateful for you. I am grateful for the honor and privilege of being able to bring this story to you alongside the most talented team a girl could ask for.

I pray that The Gift of the Magi helps us all to remember the moment when the only thing that mattered was if your loved one was safe; that brief moment when everything was so clear, or unclear, that there was freedom in letting it just…be, reminding us of who and what is most important.

Thank you for supporting live theater, Wisconsin theater and American Players Theatre.

– Malkia Stampley