Updates, Backlogs and Shortfalls

Grateful to Hannah for getting us back up and blogging. It seems that switching theatrical gears and writing about it simultaneously is more demanding than daily postings while theater-hopping in London.

There’s another reason for last week’s silence, however, and it’s in the drama of the unsaid. What we haven’t shared with you in any detail is that, despite the wonderful responses to EITHER OR from many audience members, a majority of critics (but not all) and the strong discussion panels that have been convening every Sunday afternoon, the truth is that show is losing money. We’ll come under budget for ticket sales by a significant amount. Just as we did for our three other world premieres this season (well, two of them came pretty close to breaking even but still, in the end, came under). That leaves us with an end-of-season shortfall that I’m currently laboring mightily to address. Yes, we’ve made money on shows, like FAMILY SECRETS and SHYLOCK. But this season has been an expensive one (a risky and an ambitious one too) and I budgeted somewhat optimistically on how we’d fare. We haven’t done poorly; we’ve just come under my somewhat aggressive targets. And that’s why we’re not blogging. Because we’ve been chastened (at least temporarily). Because blogging is about sharing exhilaration; frustration; and plenty of news. It’s not really the place to raise money; it’s a different readership out here; not the donating crowd; not the crucial community that supports the not-for-profit scene with angelic gifts, large and small. Or is it?

It’s news enough to go pubic with this information. But only uttering this truth will set us free; or at least make blogging a more fluent affair once again. The show’s a gem and we want you all to see it before it closes June 3. And know that I think we’re going to make it very close in reconciling our bottom line because it’s an extraordinary circle of support that we’ve created, both within our 30 person council, and within a wider circle of friends as well. There are many out there who still don’t know us; who could come to love us if only we could get them in the door. That’s our next challenge. To keep broadening the circle of friends who follow us, frequent us and, in the end, fund us. To repeat: Anyone interested?
Next posting we’ll talk about all we haven’t really debriefed from yet. The shakedown from SHYLOCK. My excellent roadtrip to New York to take in two more terrific plays. And the successful start of rehearsals for my dear friend Motti Lerner’s PANGS OF THE MESSIAH.

The play is in very strong shape. It’s going to devastate. And hopefully thrill. And work as a family play first, with political overtones second.

And finally, we went to press this weekend with our fabulous brochure for our summer festival, “Voices From a Changing Middle East,” seven shows presented in 10 days in conjunction with the 2nd annual Capital Fringe Festival (July 19-29, 2007).

Until next posting, enjoy the day off.