Magic Theatre In Desperate Need Of Donations

Magic Theatre’s been good to me. They gave me a Sloan Initiative commission for my play Gyroball. They put me on their literary committee. And recently they’ve invited me to be part of the Magic LAB, a two-year program that’s like being an associate artist, where a select group of playwrights, directors and dramaturgs work together to help the theater and to create art.

Except, none of that will happen if the community doesn’t come together to save this amazing place, like, right now.

You see, the theater’s apparently had a big chunk of debt for quite a while now. And with the recession and the drop off of donations, things are getting desperate. Today they announced they’re in danger of closing their doors.

It’s particularly unfortunate because, with Loretta Greco as the new artistic director, things have been going great artistically. The last two shows, The K of D and Evie’s Waltz, were huge critical successes. Evie’s Waltz even extended for a couple weeks because of the crowds.

But all that’s not enough. The company is in dire need of help right now, or it will disappear:

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….

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 the Magic would be horrible. It’s the second largest theatre in the city. It does some of the most amazing new works around, and this season was set to be the best in years. The company is restructuring to cut its expenses and to lose the debt Loretta inherited. But it needs to raise funds right now:

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….

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.

Please give whatever you can. I know one or two fairly-well-off people read this blog, so I’m particularly hoping they’ll donate, but YOU can do a lot with even $25 or $50.

Read more here. Donate here.

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One thought on “Magic Theatre In Desperate Need Of Donations

  1. Tim! I heard about this while on vacation (just got back and now have Internet). Wow. I just made a donation, I too agree it would be devastating if we lost the Magic. Keep up the work of spreading the news.

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