Soho Rep. Meets Fundraising Goal Following Cancelled Gala
On March 31, 300 friends, artists and supporters gathered to celebrate and honor Soho Rep.'s Board Chair Jon Dembrow at their annual spring gala. Forty-five minutes into the evening, the beam supporting a second-story balcony at the event venue, Angel Orensanz Center, cracked. The building was deemed unsafe and all the guests were evacuated by the FDNY. The cancellation of the event and on-site auction left Soho Rep. with a projected end-of-the-fiscal-year deficit of $68,000.
Through a successful fundraising campaign, Soho Rep. is grateful to announce that the company has met their goal due to the generosity of over 200 individuals and institutions including a $19,300 emergency grant from the Dramatists Guild Fund. The campaign included an appeal by director Daniel Aukin on May 21, along with an unsolicited call for support from Playwrights Horizons to the New York theater community. These actions raised $48,700 from over 170 artists, other non-profit theaters and friends. This was followed by an appeal by playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins on June 14. It was in direct response to Jacobs-Jenkins's letter that the Dramatist Guild Fund authorized the company a $19,300 emergency grant which singlehandedly closed the projected deficit. Barry Feirstein, Jim & Laura Pizzo and an anonymous donor also made leadership gifts to the campaign.
The Dramatist Guild Fund's Executive Director Rachel Routh said, "We know how unpredictable life is for both writers and theaters, so when we saw the letter from Branden, we knew we had to help. We were happy to lend a hand this season and know Soho Rep. will continue to produce new and invigorating works for years to come."
Soho Rep's Executive Director Cynthia Flowers said, "It was incredibly surprising and heartening when Rachel Routh called to tell us that the Dramatist Guild Fund had decided to give Soho Rep. an emergency grant of $19,300-exactly what we needed to end our year with a balanced budget. That kind of generous and immediate response is truly exceptional, even among funders like the Dramatist Guild Fund who already do so much good work for writers and theaters across the country. It's one extraordinary example of the wonderful people and organizations that came together to help us recover after a very disappointing moment this spring. We feel so fortunate to be a part of such an amazing community."
The Dramatists Guild Fund supports non-profit theaters and theatrical institutions every year through the annual theater grant program, granting over $150,000 to theaters across the country. Soho Rep. has been a grantee since 2008, and has been a standout among the review committee for its commitment to produce new, courageous work, as well as keeping an eye towards gender parity, winning their Artistic Director, Sarah Benson, a Lilly Award in 2012. The Dramatist Guild Fund has also granted over $40,000 in emergency assistance to theaters affected by Superstorm Sandy, and has made special emergency grants to Ensemble Studio Theater and Papermill Playhouse in the past.
To date more than 200 individuals and institutions have given in response to Soho Rep.'s emergency appeal including theaters and/or staff from the following organizations: Playwrights Horizons, Atlantic Theater Company Lincoln Center Theater, The Public Theater, Theater for a New Audience, The Flea, New 52nd Street Project, Naked Angels, The New Group, Roundabout Theater Company, BAM, howlround, New York Theater Workshop, Signature and the Vineyard. Foundations making other emergency grants included the Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Richenthal Foundation and Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation.
Artists who have made gifts include David Adjmi, Jon Robin Baitz, Oliver Butler, Rachel Chavkin, Kelly Copper & Pavol Liska, Yehuda Duenyas, Jesse Eisenberg, Madeline George, Melissa James Gibson & Matt Frey, John Guare, Lisa Joyce, Lisa Kron, Dan LeFranc, Richard Maxwell, Max Posner, Linda Powell, Sarah Ruhl, Heidi Schreck & Kip Fagan, Scott Shepherd, Paul Thureen and Eric Ting & Meiyin Wang.