Shakespeare Santa Cruz Meets Money-Raising Goal, Will Not Close Doors

News   Shakespeare Santa Cruz Meets Money-Raising Goal, Will Not Close Doors Given a ten-day deadline in which to raise $300,000 or close its doors, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, the professional theatre company in residence at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has met its goal, the leaders announced Dec. 22.

"While the final count may not be available until all gifts are processed, the UCSC Gift Administration office has confirmed a preliminary total of $416,417 from over 2,050 individual donors," according to a statement by SSC. "This means the non-profit company, with its core staff of seven, can now begin the hard work of producing its 2009 summer season in the outdoor redwood Glen and on the indoor Mainstage theatre."

SSC artistic director Marco Barricelli stated, "We have been sent a very clear message, and that message is: Theatre matters. The arts are an important and integral part of our lives, and though times may be difficult, we refuse to live without the inspiration and grace afforded us by great writers, actors, directors, and artists. Through their efforts, we are able to relish this precious gift of life in ways otherwise impossible."

SSC managing director Marcus Cato stated, "We at SSC are so grateful to the many, many people and organizations who have stepped up to say that we are important, especially in these difficult economic times. We now have the opportunity, and obligation, to respond in kind to our supporters with a commitment to both artistic integrity and fiscal responsibility. The next steps will be equally challenging as we set out to produce an exciting season, launch our annual fund campaign and get ticket sales off the ground. We are ever grateful to be able to do so."

After the urgent campaign was announced on Dec. 14, SSC "received donations and messages from across the country," including a statement of support from National Endowment of the Arts, with chairman Dana Gioia saying, "The generous public support to save Shakespeare Santa Cruz has set a shining example for the American arts. This may be a local event, but it has national importance."

SSC has proposed a reduced 2009 budget of $1.49 million (down from $2 million in 2008), but "the budget preserves the level of artistic excellence that is its hallmark." The 2009 season will include Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Julius Caesar, both performing in the outdoor Festival Glen. The Bay Area premiere of the family-friendly Shipwrecked! An Entertainment - The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (As Told by Himself) by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Donald Margulies (on the indoor Mainstage Theatre). The season will run from mid-July through August 2009.

Visit shakespearesantacruz.org.

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On Dec. 14, leaders of the 27-year-old organization announced that they were desperately seeking support by Dec. 22, or its doors would close.

"In addition to its regular annual campaign, SSC must raise $300,000 by noon on Monday, Dec. 22, 2008," according to the announcement. "Should SSC not succeed, the organization will be required to go dark for 2009, and therefore permanently."

Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC) managing director Marcus Cato projected a $500,000 loss for 2008, primarily due to shortfalls in ticket sales and contributions.

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