Happy New Year Salem Theatre Company Friends and Supporters!
First and foremost, we want to offer sincere thanks to everyone who generously donated to our Save The Theatre Campaign at the end of last year. Although we did not meet our goal, the aim to Save The Theatre was successful!
During the month of January we have been in discussions with the Property Manager at Shetland Park. The bottom line for STC was that we would like to stay and continue to grow in our new home. The bottom line for Shetland was they want Salem Theatre Company to stay. And so we will! Salem Theatre Company will remain at Shetland Park for the foreseeable future! What does that mean exactly? Here are some questions and answers that we hope will enlighten everyone:
If you didn’t meet the fundraising goal, what does that mean?
Our Indiegogo raised approximately $15,000 of the $50,000. This means we were able to make a dent in our debt which is excellent and we’ve been able to start to look to funding the future of STC. Unfortunately, it also means we are unable to go forward with an electrical upgrade in the space. The upgrade was crucial to providing more complex programming such as musicals and productions with more complicated production elements such as set and lighting design.
Without the upgrade, how will you produce shows?
After much thought, many discussions, and accepting the electrical state of the space, we have decided to take a stripped down approach to STC for the next season, possibly two. We will fully embrace the space we have to create and tell stories in a more minimalistic fashion. By using basic, essential technical elements we can focus on the shared human experience of telling powerful stories that will impact our audiences.
What plays will you produce this season?
We are focusing our season on the classics: from Shakespeare to Contemporary. Current planning includes a piece from Shakespeare, a Greek play, a Modern Classic plus at least one more to be determined. Titles will be announced on January 31st. Additionally we will see the return of our Free Staged Reading Series, the production of one new work, and our 10-minute play festival Moments of Play, as well as more music and poetry events. Each production will continue to include our Student Discount Nights and LGBT Nights, and we will also include a talk back night with each production. More details will be announced with the titles in the coming weeks.
What else can you tell us about the upcoming year?
One of the most exciting things to come out of our fundraising campaign at the end of last year was the outpouring of community support. Part of the very original vision of Salem Theatre Company was to develop into an arts center for the community. It looks like 2017 will be the year to see that development begin! We have discussions with different arts groups and individual artists around Salem who would like to partner with STC and help make further use of the space. As more details become available we will share them with you!
Do you still need to fundraise?
Yes!!! As is the case with most nonprofit theatres programming revenue only accounts for 35%-40% of what is needed to run the theatre. With STC, productions generally pay for themselves. The funding for almost everything else - rent, staff stipends, insurance, utilities, etc. - comes primarily from individual donors like so many of you! The rest comes in the form of grants, rentals, and sponsorships.
On behalf of the STC Board and Staff, we thank you for sticking by Salem’s own theatre company during a challenging yet deeply insightful period of transition. We are truly excited to see STC grow and evolve this year.
All my best in this new year,