There's a beautiful summer thunderstorm outside as I write this, and the rain is soaking into our garden, giving the promise of fine tomatoes soon.

On the other hand, we had to make the decision to cancel that night's performance of "Pride and Prejudice," the smash hit adaptation of Jane Austen's novel performed by Actors' Theatre of Columbus in Schiller Park.

Last weekend, more than two thousand people saw "Pride and Prejudice" in just two days, a stunning turnout for any company, and a humbling demonstration of German Village's support for Actors' Theatre.

Central Ohio weather can be like that. One weekend it seems like half the city is here (seriously, check out the photos on our Facebook page), and the next, we're up to our ankles in rainwater.

In order to mitigate the unpredictable nature of ... Mother Nature, we introduced a membership program last season.

This allows people to support Actors' Theatre all year long, and gives us the ability to pay for materials, actors and technicians without worrying (too much) about the weather radar.

The membership program has benefits (reserved seats, T-shirts, special events), along with the sincere gratitude of everyone involved at Actors' Theatre.

Best of all, the membership sponsor this season is Winan's Chocolates & Coffees, so we know our members are getting the best 'treat'-ment.

Actors' Theatre has been an institution for 36 years, and the company is still growing. We have new projects this year in addition to the plays in the park: working with Columbus Gifted Academy; offering free acting workshops on Saturday mornings; our regular lineup of camps and classes; and our new reading series, the Shakespeare Underground (third Mondays at TatoHeads Public House on Parsons Avenue, 7pm, pay what you will).

All of these projects are exciting ways to engage with our diverse and supportive community with fun theater. The Shakespeare Underground is a great example of Actors' Theatre and German Village working together.

We at the theater wanted to have a chance to do live, rehearsed readings of plays that have been historically overlooked. We decided that the best way to enjoy that kind of evening would be somewhere that people could have dinner and a drink or two while they enjoy the show.

Daniel McCarthy, the owner of TatoHeads, has been working to build the same kind of community culture that Actors' Theatre thrives on in Schiller Park. It was a perfect match.

Earlier this spring, Actors' Theatre was able to partner with another local business, Copious, to present "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for one night only. It was a wild event, one in which the entire production took place in only 24 hours.

Notes@Copious was a perfect venue for this kind of guerrilla theater take on Shakespeare: a basement performance space, great food, great cocktails. Getting rained out may cancel a performance, but it can't stop the exciting projects at Actors' Theatre, or the great support of our members and German Village.

Philip J. Hickman, artistic director for Actors' Theatre of Columbus, submitted the Village Notebook column .