Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another theatre doing a desperate fundraising drive, this time The Magic

If you visit San Francisco's Magic Theatre's web site today you'll be greeted by this notice:

Please donate now to save this treasure of American Theatre

San Francisco's nationally acclaimed new plays theatre, MAGIC THEATRE, is on the brink of shutting its doors. Now in the midst of a staff shutdown, MAGIC may be forced to cancel the remainder of its season and close for good. To keep our doors open we must raise $350,000 by January 9, 2009. This will allow us to bring back our staff, go on with our season, and remain responsible to our creditors. You can make a difference! Please help us save this historic institution.

Our core value of risk over commercial gain makes MAGIC a challenging endeavor in any economy, and in going forward, MAGIC is committed to a new model of financial stability for a new world-- without compromising our mission. Today however, MAGIC's accumulated debt of $600,000, combined with sharp declines in earned and contributed revenue due to the global economy, place us in imminent peril of shutting our doors.

For 42 years, San Francisco's MAGIC THEATRE has been central to the cultural life of the Bay Area and beyond, giving life to some of the most important, diverse, and powerful voices of contemporary American artists, including four Pulitzer Prize winners. From its humble beginnings in a Berkeley bar, MAGIC has emerged as one of the crown jewels of American Theatre. Please donate now.

The closing of MAGIC THEATRE would be a great loss for artists and audiences here and across the country. The second largest theatre in San Francisco, MAGIC employs 200 artists annually and touches the lives of tens of thousands of people. We need to keep our artists and our work on the stage!

The Board remains committed to MAGIC's new plays mission and in concert with the staff has been proactive in drastically cutting its $2 million budget by over $300,000 and raising additional funds in an attempt to close the gap between MAGIC's expenses and revenue lost as a result of the recession. With rehearsals for MAGIC's next production--Tough Titty by Oni Faida Lampley--slated to begin in early January, MAGIC must raise $350,000 within the next twelve days in order to continue its 43rd season. Please donate now.

Artistically, MAGIC is thriving, building upon its rich legacy under the artistic direction of Loretta Greco, who joined the theatre last spring. The critical success of the first two productions of this season demonstrate the rigor MAGIC passionately brings to each aspect of new play production — and the hoped for excitement, awe, and wonder that come from watching great art play out for audiences.

We need YOU to help us raise $350,000 by January 9, 2009. Please help us keep our doors open by making a donation today of $15.00 or more. Please give whatever you can to save MAGIC THEATRE. No amount is too small or too large. Each of you can make a difference.

What with AMTSJ closing its doors, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz needing to do a desperate plea like the Magic's, these are not good times for arts organizations.

And while the Magic might do theatre a bit more off the beaten path, commercially-speaking, AMT had tried to stay in there by doing absolutely commercial shows.

So, what theatre is doing really well financially, I wonder? Anyone know?

Hat tip: Bay Area Stage & Screen


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