News / Events

Board of Trustees COVID-19 Update

 

Volunteers, Members and Patrons,

We are all in this together, which is why Old Town Playhouse is informing everyone together as we move through the pandemic journey.  Just 6 weeks ago, we were optimistic that we could simply postpone the fabulous shows, Chicago and [title of show] until fall and open a regular season at that time.  Today, uncertainty remains, and we find ourselves in a different spot than what we had recently hoped.  Striving to find the balance of optimism and good stewardship of the Playhouse, the Board has decided to suspend activities at the Playhouse until we have more certainty around the timeframe when we can safely open.  The wellbeing of our volunteers, members, patrons, and staff is of primary importance. 

During this extended “intermission”, we will mitigate our risks by cutting costs where we can while working on a variety of plans for reopening; how, when and with what shows.  Our Board and staff will be monitoring and reassessing on a consistent basis. We want to remain nimble and be ready when the time is right.  In the meantime, we are keeping busy and innovative. This intermission gives us an opportunity to work on some building projects so we will be ready to perform at our best when we return.  The stage fly system is being replaced currently.  Several grant applications have been submitted for other building improvements.

Other changes include the following. Young Company will hold their summer camp virtually starting in June. Our annual member meeting is postponed.  Hopefully, we will gather in September. The annual Black and White Gala, which normally takes place in June, had already been postponed.  This is the first time in 22 years that we will not gather in our finery and celebrate Old Town Playhouse with a fantastic musical review. We are working on ways to connect with all of you virtually until live theatre has the green light.  Watch for more information on that.

If you normally donated during Gala time, would you consider still making that donation now?  The financial impact of lost shows is dramatic.  Fortunately, our Trustees have focused on building up reserves for a rainy day.  Well, now we have a storm! We also successfully received some funding from the emergency legislative packages.  The reserves will carry us for several months, but we greatly appreciate any help you can give us financially, so we are ready to open with spectacular shows. 

Did you know the Federal Coronavirus Tax Relief Bill allows taxpayers to claim up to $300 of charitable contributions as a tax deduction on their 2020 taxes even if they are not itemizing? Your support is so valuable to our successful reopening.  Can you help us?  We appreciate every one of you and your support.

Never has it been clearer how vital live theatre is in our community and lives.  This impacts us all.  Volunteers enjoy performing for audiences; Audiences enjoy the richness that live theatre brings. Live theatre is a social art form and do we not all crave social activities, now more than ever?  One volunteer told me recently, “I sorely miss the ability to be part of what I consider the best part of TC culture!” No virus can defeat this art form.  We promise to be ready to open safely when permitted.  Theatre has survived since the Romans; it will survive this too.  The show will go on, just not right now.

The Board of Trustees and all in the Playhouse, extend a heartfelt thank you for your continued support. Adapted from an Irving Berlin song, “We have grey skies now, but blue skies will be smiling at us.” Be well, let your smiles be seen and your laughter heard. We look forward to seeing you when blue skies return.

Sincerely,

Deb Jackson                       Chris Radu and Dennis Stockemer
Executive Director                           Board Co-Presidents

 

OTP

Old Town Playhouse

Main Stage Theatre
148 E. Eighth Street
at the corner of
Cass & East 8th St.

OTP Studio Theatre
620 Railroad Place
at the corner of
East 8th and Woodmere