August Wilson's Gem to Receive Hundreds of Free TV Spots

News   August Wilson's Gem to Receive Hundreds of Free TV Spots August Wilson's latest work, Gem of the Ocean, is one lucky play. During its current run at Chicago's Goodman Theatre and the upcoming production at Los Angeles' Mark Taper Forum, the show will be the focus of 245 television ads, all bestowed free of charge.

The spots are sponsored by the National Corporate Theatre Fund (NCTF). The in-kind donation of the ads is being provided by Black Entertainment Television (BET), in partnership with Comcast in Chicago and Los Angeles. All told, the ads—which are already running in Chicago—are valued at more than $80,000. NCTF board member Chris Campbell donated the services of his company, Palace Production Center, to produce the commercials.

"If theatre is going to expand its audience, it's important that new channels of communication be used," said Roche Schulfer, executive director of The Goodman, in a statement. "Television is so expensive and so critical in reaching the audience a play like Wilson's Gem of the Ocean deserves."

National Corporate Theatre Fund is an association of 11 U.S. not-for-profit theatres. Headquartered in New York City, NCTF was created "to encourage and promote increased participation of corporations and their employees in the support of theatre in New York and across the country at every level, from discount ticket access to volunteer opportunities, individual and corporate financial support, board service, and sponsorship relationships." The 11 theatres that make up NCTF are Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, American Repertory Theatre, Center Theatre Group, The Cleveland Play House, The Globe Theatres, The Goodman Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Long Wharf Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre and Trinity Repertory Company.