Some of you remember that Julia Vatter, an 18-year-old volunteer for the Bay Street Players in Eustis, was killed in a car accident in the summer of 2009. Since then, her friends and loved ones have created a beautiful program called Julia’s Chairs, which honors the young theater-lover by setting up an empty chair for her backstage in theaters from Eustis to Broadway.
Julia’s 20th birthday would have been this Sunday, Feb. 27, and the goal is for as many theaters as possible to set up a chair backstage for her.
Here’s a message from Jim Meadows of the Bay Street Players:
We request your theatre company’s participation in honoring our dear friend and Bay Street Theatre family member, Julia Vatter, by setting Julia’s Chair backstage during your production on Julia’s birthday, February 27, 2011.
Julia’s Chairs were originally created to honor Julia Vatter and her behind the scenes dedication to the theatre. An accomplished stage manager at the age of 18 when she lost her life, the people closest to her at the Bay Street Players in Eustis, Florida. set a chair backstage to help cope with the loss.
We feel the chair has evolved into a symbol of how precious our time is and how fortunate members of the theatre community are to be surrounded by such extraordinary people. It’s been stated that “Julia may not be with us physically but we feel that she touches each show that has a chair by helping people realize that in the theatre we are all a family gathering and realize in one way or another that this art form we dearly love, like the lives of every individual, is here for a brief moment and it too becomes a memory.”
Julia’s Chair, in Julia Vatter’s honor, is a tribute to the individuals in theatre companies who have passed on but their spirit, their love for the arts and the love that those in theatre hold for them remains present as we journey on in our respective theatrical adventures.
Julia Chairs have been set in productions ranging from school performances all the way to Broadway. Julia’s Chairs have been set in the Broadway touring productions of Wicked, Rent and Spring Awakening. Julia’s Chairs have been placed in the Broadway productions of Wicked and Next To Normal.
We request that your theatre production be represented in this wonderful collection and we sincerely welcome your participation. Please ‘dress’ the chair with articles relevant to your show like a poster or prop. Take a photo of the chair (cast and crew are welcome in the photo). Please include the production, performance dates and who took the photo.
Take a moment to view the impressive photos of “J.Chairs” that have been set in Julia’s honor in theatres around the U.S.A.
Although the request above is made to haveJulia’s Chair” set on her birthday, 2/27/2011, please remember that Julia’s Chair can be set for any and every production now and for years to come. Your photos are welcome and will continue to be added to the group collection.
Please feel free to invite other theatre companies around the world to participate in Julia’s Chairs. It’s a global invite for our intimate theatre community.
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Jim Meadows at