The Clock is Ticking - Atlanta's Theater of the Stars to Close if $500,000 Not Raised by July 12, 2013; $1 Million by August 30th
Yesterday, we learned that Atlanta's Theater of the Stars had cancelled the July 9 - 14 engagement of Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story at the Fox Theatre. Today we've learned is that the entire theater is in jeopardy and will close if they are unable to raise $1 million dollars by August 30th, with the first $500,000 by July 12th.
BroadwayWorld.com was alerted that multiple producers have been receiving anonymous phone calls throughout the day, looking for corporate support or other angels to save Atlanta's 60 year old not-for-profit Theater of the Stars and that the casts of the theatre's upcoming shows have been notified as well. Upcoming scheduled shows include Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holliday, Anything Goes, Disney's The Little Mermaid, STOMP and Cats.
Additionally, the following has just been posted on Atlanta's Theater of the Stars web site which is now soliciting online and offline donations:
Dear Friends of Theater of the Stars,
Thanks for all of your support for the last 60 years. I treasure all of the wonderful experiences we've shared. It's been a joy having your family and friends celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with us, job promotions, first dates, engagements and graduations. That's what it has always been about at Theater of the Stars...presenting the best musicals and shows to help you create cherished memories with the people you love.
I must now come to you to ask for your help to save Theater of the Stars. Our challenge is an urgent one. With the bumpy economy and several funding sources dried up, we have come to a critical juncture. I'm going to give it to you straight. We must raise $500,000 by July 12th 2013 or Theater of the Stars will cease operations and shut its doors.
This first amount of money will help us to produce and present Dreamgirls and Anything Goes as well as addressing operating expenses of Theater of the Stars, including advances with respect to the balance of the season. We will also need to raise an additional $500,000 by August 30th 2013, in order to continue our season and present Disney's The Little Mermaid, STOMP and Cats and to have a more secure footing as we move into our 2014 season. To assure that we take on no additional debt, regretfully, we must cancel The Buddy Holly Story.
We are asking for your help in two specific ways. First, please make a tax-deductible donation to Theater of the Stars. You may do that by clicking here to make a donation now, or mail a check to our address at P.O. Box 11748 Atlanta, GA 30355.
If you prefer to talk with us and make a donation with your credit card, please call our office at 404-252-8960. Any gift that is meaningful to you is meaningful to us. Second, please share this message with your friends and family and let them know how much you care about Theater of the Stars.
I know that our goals and timeline are daunting, but we are fighters and we know you are behind us. You probably expect me to make a baseball analogy. Here it is. It's the bottom of the 9th and we trailing behind, but we've got one more chance at bat. And you are that chance. We are coming to the community and our strongest supporters for help. We need you right now.
Let me assure you that we are doing our part to be lean and focus on fiscal responsibility at Theater of the Stars. Within the past 5 weeks, we have undergone a management transition that has already produced positive results and we are operating under a new business model that focuses on increased fiscal restraint. We have a long-range plan with other significant changes ahead.
We have an outstanding board, including three new energetic members, and we have their full support and guidance as we move forward. We consider ourselves stewards of the Theater of the Stars legacy and we take that responsibility very seriously.
I have spent over fifty years with Theater of the Stars and I have so many warm memories. Were you with us when we first began under the stars at Chastain Park? Or maybe you saw shows by Just Us Theatre and experienced one of the country's first African American theater companies. Maybe you remember the fun we had at the Civic Center when we presented stars like Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret and Liberace, or the magnificent American Ballet Theatre with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Or perhaps you've been with us for years at the Fabulous Fox Theatre for shows like Camelot with Robert Goulet, Fiddler On The Roof with Theodore Bikel, Cathy Rigby as Peter Pan, or Blue Man Group.
I am reminded of many great stars and friends like founder Maurice B. Seltzer, Yul Brenner, Madeline Khan, Hal Prince, Anthony Quinn, Angela Lansbury, Jennifer Holliday, Louise Hudson, Chita Rivera, Alfred Uhry, Marcia Lewis, Dr. Robert Bunnen, Jack Wall, Kenny Leon, Sally Struthers, Loretta Switt and Shirley Franklin that have been a part of the Theater of the Stars family.
I am also proud of the many opportunities that Theater of the Stars has afforded young people including the Junior Theater Festival for middle and high school students. And I'm delighted that we've given young actors a chance to perform in The Wizard of Oz, The King and I, Oliver, the world premiere of Disney's High School Musical and 21 productions of Annie.
Theater of the Stars is an Atlanta treasure, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts and cultural organization whose mission has always been to produce and present the very best musicals and shows.
I have no doubt that with your help we can preserve this institution and ensure that Theater of the Stars is poised for a sustainable future for years to come. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for taking the time to read this letter and I thank you in advance for your help.
Know we care about you,
Christopher B. Manos
How much money is needed and by when?
Our total is $1,000,000 - we must raise $500,000 by July 12th 2013 or Theater of the Stars will cease operations and shut its doors. Once we reach that 1st critical benchmark, we will be able to produce Dreamgirls and present Anything Goes.
The additional $500,000 in funding will help us to complete our season and be on stronger financial footing for the future. This campaign in which we must raise $1,000,000 will meet our financial obligations through January 2014, and put us in a position to produce a fiscally sound and artistically vibrant 2014 Season.
Learn More regarding Questions and Answers of our SAVE THEATER OF THE STARS CAMPAIGN at http://www.theaterofthestars.com/