VIDEO: The Berkeley Rep Family Thanks Signature Bank for its Support
The Berkeley Rep Family thanks Signature Bank for its support during these challenging times.
Berkeley Playhouse's doors have been closed to the public since the shelter-in-place orders were enacted in March. All staff and teaching artists are still employed and working in any capacity they can, and all are staying safe, creative, and resilient through these difficult times. Conservatory spring classes and youth rehearsals were moved to online teaching and staff have stayed connected through regular Zoom meetings.
The organization's revenue was hit greatly by the impacts of Covid-19, causing the closing weekend of the hit-musical Memphis to be cancelled, and later following with the announced cancellations of the two remaining musicals in the 2019-20 Season-In the Heights and Newsies. Tenants are unable to fill the facility's studios, and staff are anticipating decreased revenue heading into the next season due to understandable hesitations from the community on getting back to a new "normal," whenever that may be.
As a non-profit organization, Berkeley Playhouse has taken a huge hit to its finances and has humbly called on its community of supporters to lend a hand and help the theater recover. Numerous donations and messages of support have been and continue to be received from the community. It is also one of the very fortunate organizations to have recently received a $24K grant from the City of Berkeley, providing a token of success and gratitude for the theater, though it still has a long way to go in recovering from its financial losses.
Berkeley Playhouse is heartbroken to be unable to provide a physical place of community gathering and performing arts for the Bay Area at this time. The board and staff, however, remain strong and are taking things day by day to assess all decisions for future programming on the Mainstage and in the Conservatory. There are currently discussions being held about summer camps and YouthStage productions, and how these programs can continue in the safest way possible.
In the meantime, the theater continues to share new content showcasing its artists and past productions to audiences in weekly email newsletters and on social media with the hope that it will help brighten these uncertain days. There are plans to provide a Zoom Cabaret for Youthstage performers to showcase their work, as well as videos of students' online work to be shared with family and friends. Updates on programming are routinely sent to patrons when available to keep the community informed of the theater's status.
Staff are working diligently on finalizing the 2020-21 Season and preparing summer educational programs, and many have pivoted their work to learn grant-writing, researching online possibilities, and video editing. They are looking forward to the day the theater doors can be open once again to welcome back the community.