Author Topic: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"  (Read 44276 times)

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smejs

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #15 on: Feb 11, 2009, 12:49 am »
Wanna do something?  Here's the best link I've found to contact your exact representatives.  Another link I found insisted I needed to snail mail - this one found them all, though granted, 1 I had to go a step further - but it gave great instructions.  If you don't want to just sit there, try this:

http://theperformingartsalliance.org/campaign/SupporttheArtsintheEconomicStimulusBill

And you can always change the wording to whatever your exact feelings are.  So if you DON'T want the arts included in the stimulus, change it to that.  But take a voice.

RuthNY

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #16 on: Feb 25, 2009, 01:33 pm »
Chicago's About Face Postpones Show, Launches Emergency Fundraising Campaign

http://www.playbill.com/news/article/126677.html
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

RuthNY

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Foothills Theatre in Trouble
« Reply #17 on: Mar 02, 2009, 01:39 pm »
http://www.boston.com/ae/theater_arts/articles/2009/02/28/mass_theater_needs_cash_fast_or_it_will_close/

Mass. theater needs cash fast or it will close
February 28, 2009


WORCESTER, Mass.—The operators of the Foothills Theatre Company in Worcester say they need to raise $200,000 in two weeks or the theater will close.

Mel Greenberg, president of the Foothills board, tells the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester that this year's attendence has been largely "dismal." He said the company, which was founded in 1974, is also suffering from decreased grant money, a lack of corporate support and ongoing debt payments.

Greenberg added that the opening of the Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts in Worcester last year didn't help.

The Foothills has started a last-gasp fundraising campaign on the Internet, stressing it's not "crying wolf."

The theater company faced a similar crisis in the early 1990s, but a "Save Our Shows" campaign was successful.
"Be fair with others, but then keep after them until they're fair with you."
--Alan Alda

Scott (formerly Digga)

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #18 on: Mar 03, 2009, 12:00 am »
I've been hearing about Foothills and unfortunately for them, they've been having financial problems for years - long before the economic downturn.  There was a point where they were paying people in cash because of the problems and many non-eq people were going weeks without getting paid.  I think they were just starting to turn things around in the last couple of years too.

loebtmc

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #19 on: Mar 04, 2009, 12:13 pm »
From a theater newsletter

Quote
Georgia Shakespeare has canceled its annual free summer offering of the Bard's work, Shake at the Lake, due to budgetary concerns and lack of funding.

smejs

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #20 on: Mar 15, 2009, 03:28 pm »
Here's a more upbeat article on the situation - encouraging folks to go out and enjoy a live performance or see some art.

http://www.denverpost.com/entertainment/ci_11899577
"The Art of Tough Times"

VSM

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #21 on: Mar 15, 2009, 08:54 pm »
Thank you for that...
Ordo ab chao

MatthewShiner

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Seattle Rep Cutting Budget - but moving forward
« Reply #22 on: Mar 27, 2009, 03:49 pm »
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/thearts/2008932588_rep27m.html

From the Seattle Times web site . . .

On stage, backstage, Seattle Repertory Theatre cuts back

By Janet I. Tu

Seattle Times staff reporter

Buffeted by the sinking economy, a decline in subscription-ticket sales and an endowment it can't draw from, Seattle Repertory Theatre — the state's largest nonprofit regional playhouse — is taking some drastic steps, cutting its upcoming budget by one-third and going to a four-day workweek.

For the next fiscal year, which starts July 1, full-time staff will work 32 hours a week. The theater is also planning two fewer productions, doing more co-productions with other theater companies, presenting smaller-cast plays and cutting a day from performance weeks.

Together, the moves are intended to bring the Rep's budget down from $10 million this season to about $6.5 million next season — the smallest budget in a decade.

Though they've been mounting for more than a year, the Rep's troubles are similar to those faced by many arts organizations locally and nationally.

"What's unique is how we're dealing with it," said marketing and communications director Katie Jackman — in particular, a theater of this size going to a 32-hour workweek. "It's fundamentally changing how we operate."

Most of the 40 full-time, annual, nonunion employees — who work mainly in administration, marketing and educational outreach — will work Tuesdays through Fridays.

As for the union-represented seasonal staff, whose numbers vary from year to year and can get as high as 50 workers, agreements have yet to be reached.

The theater has asked three locals of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) to reopen contract negotiations.

Those three locals, which represent some 25 full-time seasonal stagehands, set builders and wardrobe crew at the Rep, would be most affected by the shorter workweek. Their current contracts provide for a 40-hour-minimum workweek.

Though they're discussing the issue with the Rep's management, they haven't yet agreed to renegotiate.

In the past, the theater has asked for — and Local 15 agreed to — midterm-contract concessions, including forgoing pension contributions and cost-of-living increases, said Tara Heinecke, managing-business representative of IATSE Local 15.

"Nobody wants to see the theater go away. It's not just a job, it's a passion," Heinecke said. Still, "something needs to change fundamentally in the way (the Rep is managed), if we have to keep doing this."

The Rep's troubles have been building.

Since 2006, the theater has seen a yearly decline of about 9 percent in subscription sales, said Jackman, noting that such sales have also declined in other theaters nationally.

Its endowment — which had been the envy of theaters with smaller or nonexistent endowments — has taken a beating in the stock market and has now dipped below the $14 million original principal, meaning the Rep can't draw from it next season.

Having an endowment, which provided about $1.5 million to the 2008-09 budget, is double-edged, said managing director Benjamin Moore. "When you have income from it, it's fabulous." But it has allowed the Rep to build a larger operation that now needs to be cut.

The theater's draft budget for next season also estimates that grants and donations will drop by about $500,000.

In addition, one day will be cut from performance weeks, which will run Wednesdays through Sundays, rather than the current Tuesdays through Sundays. (Previews, though, will still happen on Tuesdays.)

The Rep has already had layoffs and required its full-time employees to take a two-week furlough.

"We have to live within our means," Moore said. "Everyone gets that. They know they have to make some personal sacrifices."

Across the country, other regional theaters are also facing difficulties.

The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is cutting its budget by 14 percent and has asked unions for a salary freeze. Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass., is laying off seven employees and instituting a 10 percent pay cut.

"It's a tough, tough time for all of us. We're just trying to hang on, be creative," said Linda Jacobs, spokeswoman for Theatre Communications Group, a national organization for professional nonprofit theaters.

"It's a really important time for theaters to be a part of communities because it's a place for people to come together and feel united."

Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson contributed to this report.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

MatthewShiner

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Guthrie Cutting Budget
« Reply #23 on: Mar 27, 2009, 03:51 pm »
http://www.startribune.com/entertainment/onstage/41838967.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUUsZ

From Star Tribune. 

The Guthrie Theater will cut its next fiscal-year budget by 14 percent, from $28 million to $24.1 million. In an interview Wednesday, Director Joe Dowling said the reductions will be made through wage freezes, salary reductions among senior management, furloughs and by reducing expenses in production. The package mirrors cuts at other nonprofit arts organizations that have been affected by reduced endowments, donations and patronage.

"We're living in the real world," Dowling said. "We're planning a season as full as we can make it, and we're going to do internally what needs to be done."

Dowling said he would reduce his salary by 10 percent and that four senior managers will take 5 percent cuts. Actors Equity and the Stagehands union have both agreed in principle to wage freezes (awaiting ratification). Independent employees will experience wage freezes and a mandatory one-week furlough.

The Guthrie has 150 full-time employees. During productions, up to 350 people are working in the theater. Dowling said both of those areas will be reduced, though he would not give specifics.

"We'll undertake the reduction in force in a way that both reflects our respect for the individual people involved and makes certain that we can do what we set out to do," he said.

Trish Santini, director of external affairs, said she was not authorized by board president Randall Hogan to release Dowling's salary. The Star Tribune reported in January that Dowling's 2007 compensation was $682,229 (which included a $100,000 bonus). Dowling disputed that Wednesday, but did not offer specifics.

"The focus on me and my salary, which has been inaccurately reported, and I would say somewhat with ill-informed research, has led to a considerable amount of discussion in the community," Dowling said. "Let's take the heat off that and talk about the fact that here's an organization where people are willing all through the organization to make sacrifices."
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smejs

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #24 on: Mar 27, 2009, 04:48 pm »
The Denver Center is cutting back with no middle-school-age show, but keeping commitments to diversity and new plays.

http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_11979243

Denver Center Theatre Company season reflects economic downturn
New-play commitment protected despite $1 million hit

Britney

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #25 on: Mar 27, 2009, 09:20 pm »
I recently heard that the Huntington Theatre in Boston, MA has been having some monetary issues (not enough people attending shows) and may be forced to either drastically downsize or close. Such a shame and very unexpected since this theatre is affiliated with/supported by Boston University!

DeeCap

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #26 on: Mar 31, 2009, 02:39 pm »
I work closely with the Huntington Theatre.

Like many theatres, they need money. However, I have not heard anything about closing.

prizm

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #27 on: Apr 14, 2009, 02:58 pm »
I have read though all of this and I agree that times are hard. But I also agree that we need to work hard not to create a self-fulfilling prophecy. I have been on every side of this situation recently. I was a resident PSM at a company which decided after we were in rehearsals for the second show in our season to stop producing. Everyone was sent home we changed shows opened and closed in a week. The staff was laid off on closing and the theater is now trying to stay open as a rental house for other companies. My point is I have been there but since then I have seen the panic out there. And I think some are mistaking fiscal responsibility for dooms day. I have been at a theater that has made some major cut backs recently eliminating part time and over hire and scaling back on shows. They are however working with their board to make it safely through this mess. I have no fear that things may get a bit tough but having see what closes a theater up close I know they arent headed that way. But all this talk has people scared and its infectious and it scares me more than talking about theaters closing. 

KMC

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #28 on: Apr 14, 2009, 03:02 pm »
I think some are mistaking fiscal responsibility for dooms day. 

Well said.  I think you should be commended for bringing a dose of realism to the discussion.  The sky is not falling, folks.  The economy has forced us (albeit unwelcome) into a period of attrition at the end of which efficiently managed organizations will again thrive.
« Last Edit: Apr 14, 2009, 03:07 pm by kmc307 »
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

MatthewShiner

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Re: Theatres That Have Closed--Can You Say "Emergency?"
« Reply #29 on: Apr 14, 2009, 11:21 pm »
I don't think the posting of these stories are sort leading to a self-fulfilling prophecy.  This is a business, and we should be aware of the state of the business we work in.

I also think, that since this board has a lot of young stage managers / college age stage managers - I think it's important for people to know what the job market is like out there.  As other threads have mentioned, due to economic down turn, jobs are drying up here and there, and pay for some jobs are declining. 

I don't think we are saying the "sky is falling", but more like there are some very dark clouds up there.  Theatre's are downsizing, producing at smaller scale, doing shorter runs, etc, etc . . . all of it does mean that are fewer work weeks out there, lower pay and more competition.

Also, many of us have attachments to these theatrea, or are degree or two of separation from these theaters - and we like to keep up to date on those status.  And those of in the financial situation, have made donations to these theaters in their hours of needs. 
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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