Film and TV Producer Roger Bobb Makes Significant Donation to Atlanta's Struggling Theater of the Stars
By Michael Gioia
Atlanta's Theater of the Stars, the non-profit Georgia company that has offered 60 seasons of theatrical programming, secured $330,000 shortly after the company revealed that it was in danger of closing its doors due to financial hardships, which were announced by the theatre's management in late June.
A message from TOTS producer Christopher B. Manos on the company's official website stated that the organization was facing a critical juncture and would need to raise an immediate $500,000 by July 12 or the organization would cease operations and shut its doors.
Film and television producer Roger Bobb, who is also president and CEO of BobbCat Films, has committed a substantial portion of the amount raised. Theater of the Stars hopes to raise the balance of the goal and mount Dreamgirls, starring Jennifer Holliday, in August.
"We are thrilled at the tremendous vote of confidence that Mr. Bobb and all our donors and supporters have given Theater of the Stars, and we are confident that with additional community support, this organization, with the one-of-a-kind Chris Manos as our producer, will continue for generations to come," said Brian D. Frey, Theater of the Stars vice president, in a statement. "Chris has been such a force in this industry over these 60 years of Theater of the Stars and he's forged so many new paths for so many talented people... it's our hope to be able to see this hurdle through in his honor, and get back to the business of presenting and producing great musical theatre."
Immediate funding will allow TOTS to stage the upcoming productions of Anything Goes and Dreamgirls (with Holliday), as well as address the company's operating expenses.
An additional $500,000 must be raised by Aug. 30 in order to continue with the company's previously announced season, which is scheduled to continue later this year with Disney's The Little Mermaid, Stomp and Cats. TOTS has already canceled its July production of The Buddy Holly Story.
Manos stated, "Let me assure you that we are doing our part to be lean and focus on fiscal responsibility at Theater of the Stars. Within the past 5 weeks, we have undergone a management transition that has already produced positive results and we are operating under a new business model that focuses on increased fiscal restraint. We have a long-range plan with other significant changes ahead.
We have an outstanding board, including three new energetic members, and we have their full support and guidance as we move forward. We consider ourselves stewards of the Theater of the Stars legacy and we take that responsibility very seriously."
Theater of the Stars, which has presented productions at the Fox Theatre since 1984, was also elemental in creating and presenting the Junior Theater Festival, which welcomes young performers to Atlanta each year. TOTS also presented the world premiere of Disney's High School Musical and 21 productions of Annie in its 60 seasons of operation.
To learn more and to donate, phone (404) 252-8960 or visit theaterofthestars.com.
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