Toronto Theatre Alliance, Hobbled by Deficit, Faces an Uncertain Future

News   Toronto Theatre Alliance, Hobbled by Deficit, Faces an Uncertain Future Toronto Theatre Alliance, the organization that administers the annual Dora Mavor Moore Awards and operates the T.O. TIX discount theatre wicket in the Ontario city, is facing a crisis.

Executive director Jacoba Knaapen confirmed published reports that the TTA board, as of Jan. 19, gave the group a four-week deadline to deal with the deficit. An internal audit is ongoing, she told Playbill On-Line.

The amount and reason for the deficit were not given. If the TTA folds, the Doras, the independent sister organization, would need to find another body to administer the annual theatre excellence awards.

"The Doras will continue" no matter what, she said. The awards "will morph into something else."

The TTA includes all of the city's major performing arts groups and helps promote the live-arts industry in Toronto, which took a blow in 2003 when a SARS scare was reported by the World Health Organization.

"We're fighting to find ways to bring cash in," Knaapen told Playbill On-Line, adding that a campaign is afoot to increase awareness and sales at the T.O.TIX booth, which supports TTA. The TTA voted to dissolve itself if financial issues can't be solved. The deadline is Feb. 13, which happens to be Friday the 13th.

Variety reported the monthly operating cost of TTA is $20,000 Canadian or about $15,300 U.S.

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According to www.totix.ca, "Similar to the ticket booths found in New York's Times Square, or London, England's Leicester Square, T.O.TIX offers performing arts lovers the opportunity to purchase half price tickets to a wide variety of theatre, dance, comedy, opera and music events on the day of performance.

"Shows offered at half-price change daily. During the 2001-2002 season over 278 different productions sold half-price tickets at T.O.TIX.

"The Toronto theatre community considers T.O.TIX to be a community effort where performing arts companies can support each other. To that end, many of the leading performing arts companies guarantee a minimum of two tickets to each performance to be sold at T.O.TIX for same day sale. Because of this, it is not unusual for T.O.TIX to have the last available pair of tickets for sold out shows....at half-price."

For more information about Toronto Theatre Alliance and its programs, visit www.theatreintoronto.com.

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