Space Constraints


PHOENIX, ARIZ., AND NEW YORK CITY: Over the winter, theatres in Arizona and New York encountered rent-related speed bumps.

NYC's 30-year-old Pearl Theatre Company announced an emergency campaign in February, citing a shortfall in the current season's budget. At the time a letter was sent to subscribers, $200,000 of the $550,000 gap had been closed. By March 6, about $128,000 more had come in. The company recently moved to the Midtown venue previously occupied by Signature Theatre Company and, as artistic director J.R. Sullivan wrote in his appeal, "There are increased costs associated with operating our new theatre, from the rent to box office personnel, to utilities and production expenses." For updates, visit www.pearltheatre.org

A similar plea was made last season by the Arizona Jewish Theatre, which closed after it could not meet its goal. Now a fellow Phoenix theatre is struggling, but mapping a different route back to solvency: In February, Actors Theatre of Phoenix announced it would be "taking a pause" by canceling the remainder of its 2012-13 season (A Steady Rain and Good People) and redesigning its business model. Arizona Theatre Company and Phoenix Theatre have agreed to welcome ticket-holders for the canceled productions. In a statement to the press, producing artistic director Matthew Wiener noted two expected foundation gifts had failed to materialize, but an underlying problem was ATP's inability in its home of 20 years, the Herberger Theater Center, to control or create new venue-based revenue streams. …

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