Giving thanks for firefighters

To the editor:

On Nov. 17, on the grounds of Jacob’s Pillow, a fire destroyed our beloved Doris Duke Theatre. This was a devastating loss of a precious place that meant so much to so many.

Despite this heartbreaking loss, over the Thanksgiving holiday I found myself filled with gratitude. No one was hurt in the fire, no other building on our vulnerable campus was affected, and the 30 years of performances, residencies, talks and workshops that took place in the space were all filmed and are preserved in perpetuity in our precious archives.

On behalf of the Pillow’s board and staff, I want to send thanks to all the members of our Berkshire community who wrote to us to share their sympathy, their memories and love for Jacob’s Pillow. This outpouring of support from across our county, our state, our country and our international community will carry the Pillow through this time. We vow to rebuild and create a new theater that will again bring artists and audiences together for performances that inspire and transform.

Most of all, I give my sincerest appreciation to the volunteer firefighters from six towns who worked together to fight the fire at the only National Historic Landmark dedicated to dance. These local heroes heard the call to action, left their homes and drove up to the mountaintop of dance to fight the fire on our behalf.

It’s because of their valor, dedication and expertise that the fire was contained. Their collective action and selflessness is truly inspiring. My thanks goes out to the town of Becket and administrator Bill Caldwell for their care and to the many firefighters and their families from Becket, Chester, Lee, Otis, Monterey and Hinsdale for their support during our time of greatest need.

I and the Jacob’s Pillow family will be forever grateful. Thank you.

Pamela Tatge, Becket

The writer is executive and artistic director of Jacob’s Pillow.