Aurora Theatre Co Announces New Donor Contributions

Aurora Theatre Co Announces New Donor Contributions

Berkeley's acclaimed Aurora Theatre Company announces three new donor contributions made in support of the company's current 20th anniversary season. In honor of Aurora Theatre Company's 20th anniversary, a group of generous supporters has given Aurora a challenge: for each dollar up to $20,000 that Aurora raises from first-time donors or increased support from current donors, the gifts will be matched 2 to 1. This incredible matching grant, spearheaded by lead donors George and Candy Hisert, comes at a critical time as support for the arts from corporations and foundations continues to shrink. It is contributions such as the matching grant which helps Aurora keep quality productions on stage, as well as supports Aurora initiatives, including discounted ticket pricing for those in need, free senior previews for lower-income seniors, the Global Age Project festival of new works, Aurora Script Club, and post-show talk backs. Aurora is working to meet the match during the company's annual fund campaign, now through December 31.

For more information, or to make a contribution towards the matching grant, the public may contact Emily Lagnado, Annual Fund Manager, at (510) 843-4042 x312.

The company will also officially inaugurate its Second Stage cabaret space in December. Located in the Dashow Wing at Aurora Theatre Company, Harry's UpStage will be christened during a private event on December 4. Long-time Aurora subscriber and supporter Harry Weininger passed away in May 2010; his family, who knew of his dedication to Aurora, wanted to honor him and made a $25,000 donation to Aurora to outfit the Dashow space with a new lighting package, curtains, a stage, and furniture. Harry's UpStage will be used for live cabaret and Second Stage performance events at the Aurora.

Additionally, in celebration of Aurora Theatre Company's 20th anniversary season, long-time Aurora supporters Deborah and Howard Goodman made a bighearted gift to the company, becoming sponsors for the entire 20th anniversary season.

Aurora Theatre Company Artistic Director Tom Ross states, "It's hard to believe that it has been 20 years since Aurora Theatre Company opened its doors. This year, as we celebrate our past and look forward to our future, I can't help but reflect on how far we've come in two decades. We really have our dedicated supporters to thank; it is because of their kind support that we're able to grow from a small room in the Berkeley City Club to a state-of-the-art theater, which now has a new wing and houses a Second Stage performance space. My thanks and gratitude goes out to everyone who has enabled us, and continues to enable us, to create memorable works of art."

Aurora Theatre Company continues its 20th anniversary season with THE SOLDIER'S TALE, an enchanting, one-of-a-kind collaboration between Artistic Director Tom Ross and former San Francisco Ballet prima ballerina Muriel Maffre, playing now through December 18, followed by the Bay Area Premiere of Obie-winning playwright Annie Baker's BODY AWARENESS in January, directed by Joy Carlin. Founding Artistic Director Barbara Oliver returns to the company in April to helm Margret Schaefer's Aurora-commissioned World Premiere translation of Arthur Schnitzler's fin-de-siècle gem ANATOL. The 20th anniversary season concludes in June with Aurora Theatre Company's World Premiere play commission, SALOMANIA, written and directed by Mark Jackson.

Nominated for 15 and winner of 8 Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for 2010, Aurora Theatre Company continues to offer challenging, literate, intelligent stage works to the Bay Area, each year increasing its reputation for top-notch theater. Located in the heart of the Downtown Berkeley Arts District, Aurora Theatre Company, declared "one of the best regional theaters around" by 7x7 magazine, has been called "one of the most important regional theaters in the area" and "a must-see midsize company" by the San Francisco Chronicle, while The Wall Street Journal has "nothing but praise for the Aurora." The Contra Costa Times stated "perfection is probably an unattainable ideal in a medium as fluid as live performance, but the Aurora Theatre comes luminously close," while the San Jose Mercury News affirmed "[Aurora Theatre Company] lives up to its reputation as a theater that feeds the mind," and the Oakland Tribune stated "it's all about choices, and if you value good theater, choose the Aurora."

For tickets or more information about Aurora Theatre Company, the public can call (510) 843-4822 or visit