29 Jun Newsletter – June 2013

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Artistic Director’s Corner

Michael StormUsually the Artistic Director’s corner is well…artistic, at least in part. I try to convey the wonderful artistic energy that goes into what we do; but every once in a while (like back in the day) I feel the need to “get real.” So, here goes. We are fairly leveraged with the new space and that has translated to our upcoming season and in particular our production of Orlando, which is set to be our most expensive show since I have been Artistic Director. Why? Because it has to sell, so we are sinking everything into it. The numbers have been broken down and they result in the following goals.

We need to sell at least 200 subscriptions. We usually sell about 150, so that is obviously a bit of a bump. We need to average a $30 donation per subscriber (as we have historically), and we have to average 45 paying patrons per performance, which if you include the numbers from our three smash hits, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Grapes of Wrath and Hanging Georgia, that has been our average since I became Artistic Director. If you remove those three shows from the numbers we average 31 paying customers per night. If Orlando averages 31 paying customers per night we are in real trouble. That’s the reality ladies and gentlemen.

If we hit these goals we lose about $4000.00, which was manageable when we were nomadic. But we now have a home and it is a run down fixer upper. Every penny counts. Things in the Live Oak Theatre were much worse than anyone could have anticipated. And that is not an exaggeration. We are spending the month of June rectifying all of the many problems. That means of course that there is a lot of money going out the door for renovations to ensure that the Live Oak Theatre is one of the safest and cleanest theatres in the Bay Area. We knew the building was going to require some adjustments, but we did not expect the “theatre” side of things to be in such disarray. And to let you in on a little game I play…if we average a $50 donation per subscriber OR 65 paying customers per night we break even, making up that $4000.00.

So, what does that mean? It means, along with hiring a grant writer, we could really use some help getting the word out. Now more than ever, you have to tell your friends. They didn’t want to come to Oakland? Well, now we’re in Berkeley just a block from the Gourmet Ghetto. PLEASE HELP spread the word! Tell friends that few companies in the Bay Area are producing at such a high level and with such consistency.  If they say, “I just don’t dig the theatre, man.” You tell them, “Well, then this is the theatre company you want to be a part of.” They won’t be sorry they came and you won’t be sorry you lead them to the theatre.

Not very artistic this time “in the corner”, but I know many of you like to know what is going on behind the scenes as well. And this is our pressing issue right now. Selling tickets. If you attend Orlando opening weekend your ticket will act as a “2 for 1” voucher at a performance later in the run. You can come again and bring a friend or you can just give the voucher away. Either way we get new people into the theatre. People helping people…

Thank you.

~Michael


Tickets Now On Sale for Orlando

Orlando is in the house! Well not quite… you’ll be in the house…with the lovely Orlando on our stage. Tickets are on sale now! Secure your seat for this wild ride via the TheatreFIRST website theatrefirst.com/tickets and Box Office 510.981.8150.

For those of you who haven’t heard the news:

Originally the brainchild of Virginia Woolf, Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando strives for heroism in the world and romance in the bedroom–and vice versa–with consequences that bring both heartache and epiphany. Born as a man into the frivolity of Queen Elizabeth I’s court, Orlando plays poet and lover before and after waking to find he isn’t just a “he” anymore. Orlando is a dazzling tale of love, sex, and gender–and what strange bedfellows those three can be.

Orlando will be gracing the stage from August 16th to September 15th with our Pay What You Can Preview on August 15th. Join us for an incredible journey or become a subscriber and continue traveling with us for our whole season.


Subscriptions on Sale on Our Website

You can either download the season mailer, fill it out and send it in or you can use this link theatrefirst.com/tickets and go straight into Vendini and claim your seat!

Fall and Winter 2013 was hard–and how could it have been any different after the Mayans got us all riled up. For your troubles, TheatreFIRST is here to provide some relief–the kind of soothing entertainment Game of Thrones destroyed when they traumatized us with that wedding episode. We want to cheer you up instead, so–

Join us for our 2013-2014 Season as a Subscriber!

Throw caution to the wind! Get lost in some great stories! Enjoy reserved seats for each show! And join us for our 20th Anniversary Season! Subscription sign ups are now available online via our website theatrefirst.com/tickets, and we look forward to hosting you at our new home.


Save the Date–Season Opening Celebration Tomorrow (Sunday)!

Speaking of hosting, TheatreFIRST would like to cordially invite you to our new home at the Live Oak Theatre this Sunday, June 30th for a Season Opening Celebration! We will celebrate from 4:00 to 6:00 pm with drinks, live entertainment, and the presentation of our 20th Anniversary Season. Please be punctual. And bring a friend.  


Next Up at Live Oak: Just Theatre Presents, A Maze

Come see some of our good friends performing in our new home with A Maze!

A teenage girl recreating her identity after eight years captive in a suburban basement. A pair of rock stars re-inventing themselves after a hit song. A self-taught artist gaining a cult following for his 15,000-page comic book. Where does it all lead?

Just Theatre presents Rob Handel’s A Maze starring Lasse Christiansen, Janis Delucia, Carl Holvick Thomas, Frannie Morrison, Sarah Moser, Harold Pierce, Lauren Spencer and Clive Worsley.

This West Coast Premiere, directed by Molly Aaronson-Gelb, officially debuts Monday July 15th with Previews Friday July 12th and Saturday July 13th. It runs Thursday through Sunday at 8:00pm through August 4 at the Live Oak Theatre.


New Lighting Grid Installed

Annie sang, “The sun will come out tomorrow!” TheatreFIRST says, “The sun will come out today!”–though by “sun” we mean our new lighting grid and by today we mean as soon as we get the lighting instruments hung back up and in place.

Hotzmeuller has completed its installation of our new lighting grid which will illuminate–pun intended–the intimate brand of theatre we have become known for here at TheatreFIRST.


Where are They Now?…

Phoebe Moyer (Anton in Show Business) just wrapped two more commercials. She continues to direct: first, as part of the Union of Women Actors Coalition (UWAC) TheatreFest at Live Oak Theatre on June 24th, and then in October with Lettice  and Lovage for Role Players Ensemble in Danville and Other Desert Cities for Ross Valley Players in May.

Clive Worsley (Stones in His Pockets and  T1 Artistic Associate) will be on the Live Oak stage in Just Theatre’s production of A Maze.

Alex Hersler (Grapes of Wrath) is hitting the stage literally and figuratively, as drummer for the band, We Will Be Lions. All details, news, and show dates can be found on their newly revamped website, www.wewillbelions.com.

 

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