Friday, December 31, 2010

Center Stage Needs Your Help


Contributed by Guest Blogger of the Week, Shay Gines.

As some of you know Center Stage is facing eviction on January 3rd if they do not raise $17,000. They have raised $6,000 in the last 2 days and need to come up with another $11,000 in the next 72 hours to avoid having the doors pad locked on Monday morning.

This would be a significant loss to OOB especially on the heels of the closer of the Ohio Theatre and news that after 86 years the Cherry Lane Theatre will be sold and it is another indication that our community is in crisis. 

 Center Stage Theatre has been the home for many OOB companies over the last 11 years including; Boomerang Theatre, terraNOVA, The Vampire Cowboys, Impetuous Theatre Group and Partial Comfort Productions to mention a few. 

According to Jill DeArmon, Artistic Director for Center Stage, the rent has risen dramatically over the last few years and is now "too high for the theater to survive here." Their goal is to raise the money for back rent so that they can finish out their season and honor the rental agreements that have already been made through May and of course avoid litigation.

Financial problems for Center Stage started in 2008 when sponsors, corporate funding and donations to companies throughout our community started to be reduced. "Many companies that had rented from us for years all of a sudden weren't able to put money up front for their seasonal space needs, which of course put a lot of gaps in our calendar when we ourselves were bringing in less" explains former Office Manager, James David Jackson. "The major clientele we were bringing in (Indie/Off-Off-B'way) really couldn't pay the hourly and weekly rates that we would have needed to rise the rent to. Plus the space needed some major renovations to justify the new price we would need to charge. So we've come to a cash flow problem."

If you can spare a few dollars this weekend, please consider making a donation to Developing Artists Theater Company ( the not-for-profit arm of Center Stage.

UPDATE: Monday, January 3, 2011 1:30PM
Center Stage is within $4,000 of their goal. They have 12 hours to raise the remaining money.

UPDATE: Monday, January 10, 2011   10:30AM
Center Stage did receive the money it needed to keep its doors open until May. It will now be able to honor the remaining rental agreements and close its season as they had intended. So while they were able to meet their goal, it is only a temporary stay. We will update you with future plans for the company and for the space as soon as we can.

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