"After a change in the building codes that required a change to our sprinkler system, and a few other New York City-only types of construction snafus, our budget for construction for our new 155-seat Manhattan theater space increased by over $250,000," revealed Revelation artistic director Leslie L. Smith. "And we need to raise this money fast to keep our small theater from going bankrupt."
Explains the e-mail — which was circulated to 50,000 friends and arts supporters in its initial delivery — "The fundraiser goes like this: Open your wallet. Look at the bills. Tell us which president is most identified in your wallet by sending us a donation equal to the amount on his bill." For example, a person with two singles and three fives might send a check in the amount of $5 and cast their vote — via the memo line — for Lincoln; or if they have six singles and one five, donate $6 and pen "6 Washingtons" in for six votes. The lenient voter rules state: "You can vote multiple times. We don't care. In this game you literally buy the election!!!" One can also rewrite history and vote for Alexander Hamilton (the $10 bill) and Benjamin Franklin ($100).
Contributions will be tax deductible. The winner and other candidates of the faux election will be memorialized by lobby plaques in the order in which they placed at the company's new theater. The current standings are as follows: Hamilton - 15 votes, Washington - 12 votes, Franklin and Grant - 4 votes, Lincoln - 2 votes.
The Revelation Theatre Company launched its first production, David Wiltse's Temporary Help, in November 2002. The staging directed by Smith starred Robert Cuccioli (Jekyll & Hyde) and Margaret Colin (the current revival of A Day in the Death of Joe Egg).
The advisory board includes actors Chad Allen, Kathleen Chalfant, Julie Halston, Lisa Kron, Austin Pendleton, Anthony Rapp; directors Jeff Calhoun and Ken Elliot; playwrights William M. Hoffman and Del Shores; and dramaturg Morgan Jenness. To place your vote, visit the Revelation website at www.revelationtheater.org or mail your donation by check to: Revelation Theater, PO Box 2632, Times Square Station, New York, NY 10108.