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March 12, 2008

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Karl Miller

Excellent point, Isaac ... The Ford Motor Company wouldn't be too ridiculous -- the old Elizabethan companies were named after poncey royals and rich people, so ...

Capital campaigns appeal because they make mini-monuments of the donors. Little placards on the arm-rest, bricks in the lobby, etc. I'd happily put a bold shout-out to any patron in my program bio or something ... but it's not the same.

DC's starting to reach a saturation point, I think. The metro area has about 3 million people and they sold over 2 million tickets last year -- which is a pretty encouraging ratio for per capita theatregoing. Even smaller troupes like Stage Guild and Rorschach Theatre are working on new spaces. Signature in Virginia just opened a wonderful two-stage building a couple years ago. And someone recently plopped down in Bethesda to do off-Broadway musical hits in their own snazzy space.

It's dizzying and I fear DC is also coming close to a saturation point. Not for artists, though -- more and more work with higher and higher salaries keeps coming to town. But new theatres are like restaurants ... some crazy percentage of them close after the ribbon-cutting.

herxanthikles

I'm right with you, Isaac. Down at Houston Grand Opera, almost all of the Studio Artist positions are endowed fellowships with names attached. From what I can tell, the folks who lend their names to the fellowships get a big kick out of not only financing a young career but also having access to chill with talented people. I mean, I would pay money to have dinner with Philip Goodwin twice a year and a wink during parties.

This is making me nostalgic for the Arena Rep Company of yesteryear. Sigh...

David Daniel

Isaac,

I understand your frustration completely....BUT.... don't we already ask people to pay salaries? I know here out at APT in Wisconsin we're building a new indoor space (we're an outdoor rep) and we've been working on a new capital campaign to fund it. I also know that the new capital campaign will bite into our "normal" donations and givings that we use to cover some costs-- including salaries.

So I guess my question (really, truely, it is a question) is how are the monies received from a typical, albiet, rare, yearly donor different than the "Ford Motor Company Resident Theatre Troupe"?

What are donors giving to normally? The water bill or the leading lady?

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