What I’m Grateful For: $6 Donations That Keep a Theater Afloat

Why Maria Manuela Goyanes, artistic director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, has been writing a lot of thank-you notes.

Photograph by Jeff Elkins

This article is part of Washingtonian‘s feature “Gratitude.” We asked dozens of notable Washingtonians as well as our readers: What are you most grateful for? Read some of their responses here.

Maria Manuela Goyanes

Artistic director at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, which has been shuttered since March

What ways have you been showing gratitude this year?

I have been spending hours writing thank-you notes. Normally I don’t write notes to somebody who has rounded up their ticket purchase and given a donation for $6, but I am totally writing that thank-you note right now, because I want to tell them this is such a hard moment for so many reasons and we are just really lucky to have them in our corner.

Our costume shop created these Woolly Mammoth rubber stamps, so I got an ink pad and a thank-you stamp. I get these blank cards, and I’ll be on a big old conference call or listening to a webinar and I’ll just be stamping “thank you” over and over and stamping the Woolly logo on all these cards, which I find very meditative. It’s like a gratitude practice. On weekends, I’ll wake up, make a cup of coffee, and take an hour to just write the gratitude to all of these folks.

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Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.