While Long Wharf states that ticket sales remain strong, managing director Ray Cullom and staff are projecting downturns in revenue, setting an operating budget of $5.2 million. The New Haven theatre company operated with a budget of $6.2 last year.
Specific position restructuring has yet to be released; however, Long Wharf has announced that four full-time staffers have been laid off, five seasonal employees will not have their contracts renewed and six year-round positions will now be seasonal. The changes will affect the marketing, development, production and operations departments, according to representatives.
"These are not easy decisions and we’ve turned them around over and over in our mind. We think this will get us where we need to be at this time. The idea is that we’d jump ahead of the problem,” Cullom said in a statement. “We are taking steps to assure the continued health of the institution. We are bringing the organization in line with the reality of the current difficult fiscal environment. When conditions improve, the organization will be well positioned to expand again. As always, the product on the stage comes first, and we believe our audience will not notice any difference in the theatre experience here at Long Wharf.”
The 2009-2010 season at Long Wharf includes the world-premiere production of Darci Picoult's Lil's 90th, Nilaja Sun's No Child…, Athol Fugard's Have You Seen Us? and A.R. Gurney's Sylvia. Additional programming has yet to be announced.