Arizona Theatre Company is preparing to launch it’s 50th Anniversary season—or the season that almost wasn’t.
ATC announced early this summer that it might have to cancel its forthcoming season because of a substantial funding shortage. It took a concentrated fundraising campaign to try to bring in the needed $2 million to move forward. Even so, things were looking grim for the local theater company, until a flurry of pledges and commitments during the final hours of the campaign put the effort at the $2 million mark.
“To say we are thrilled to be able to make this announcement is the understatement of all understatements,” said ATC Board of Trustees Chair Lynne Wood Dusenberry. “The outpouring of support, even from those who were unable to contribute to the effort, has been simply overwhelming.”
Tucson business leader Mike Kasser, who guaranteed that $1 million would come from Tucson if the second million could be raised from donors in Phoenix, said, “I’m so happy that this effort came together and reached the goal. With over 700 small-to-medium size donors, it was like a crowd-funding campaign without the Internet.”
The fund-raising effort included 448 donors in Tucson and 320 in Phoenix. Going forward, Arizona Theatre Company will continue its considerable fund-raising efforts for its annual campaign and recapitalization of the institution.
Artistic Director David Ira Goldstein, for whom the 2016-17 season will be his 25th, expressed his “heartfelt and abiding gratitude for this outpouring of support from across the state and throughout the country. It makes it possible for Arizona Theatre Company to continue building the legacy of a remarkable professional theatre for diverse audiences, students and families throughout the region. I assure our community that we understand our responsibility as the stewards of this great organization, now entering its sixth decade.”
Goldstein also thanked Phoenix Mayor Stanton, Tucson Mayor Rothschild, Phoenix Council member and Arts Subcommittee Chair Laura Pastor and individual donors “for their heroic efforts on behalf of Arizona Theatre Company. “Our artists are chomping at the bit to get back to telling stories that move, enlighten, entertain and connect us to our world. Starting today, it’s full speed ahead towards our first performance of the season.”
Managing Director Billy Russo said ATC senior management and board members have already begun strategic discussions to determine “the shape and scope of the 2016-17 season so that we can reduce production and operational expenses where possible and assess projected revenues to ensure that ATC produces this season with maximum efficiency.”
The 2016-17 season is scheduled to open with “King Charles III,” Oct. 6-23 in Phoenix. The opening show will be followed by An Act of God, Nov. 17-Dec. 4; and Fiddler on the Roof, Jan. 6-29, 2017.
Season ticket packages as well as single tickets to King Charles III and An Act of God are on sale now; single tickets range from $41 to $70 plus fees for most shows. Call the box office at 602-256-6995. For more information, visit www.arizonatheatre.org.