From The Theatre Supervisor: We Need Your Help
My dear Majestic Patrons and Volunteers,
This first year together has been an exciting and successful time. Beginning in January 2015, we spent months together in meetings and forums talking about how the Majestic should operate. Then we had our first successful fiscal year end in June 2015 wherein we ended the year over on revenue and under on expenses.
For the 2015-2016 seasons, we made it our mission to work with as many different community arts organizations as we could and do as many shows as we could to explore the potential of our programming. We also made a commitment to increase our staffing to support all of these new shows and community connections, to channel all of our raw volunteer energy in an efficient, supportive way.
To balance this increase activity, and thus increased expenses, we increased the number of performances we were having, increased tickets prices by 25% and initiated a campaign to raise $100,000 in donations to support our first year of learning, growth, and support.
We’ve done well on the community end, with glowing reviews of our support and service coming from our local press, our patrons, and our volunteers. But we’re lagging behind on the financial end. Due the vagaries of our first full year of operation and costs associated with bringing the theater up to the proper level to support the over 40,000 hours of volunteers service we’ve had, the Majestic Theatre is running a significant deficit. While we are projected to end the year, on target and balanced, there are three things we need help with in order to do that.
First, we need to shore up our donation campaign. We had a target of $100,000 and we are currently at $52,210 or just over halfway there. If you haven’t donated to the Majestic this year, please consider donating, no matter the amount you can afford. Every penny helps and inspires others to do the same.
To help in this vein, we will be reviving an exciting tradition this year at the Majestic in the form of a new year end fundraiser: The Majestic Follies. What’s a folly? It’s a theatrical revue, a showcase. What will the Majestic Follies be? The Majestic Follies will be a celebration of all things Majestic; past, present, and future. What could you see? Songs and bits from shows in our past. Scenes from an upcoming production. A dance from one of our many dance companies. A magician A bit O panto. The possibilities are endless. So who decides? As usual, YOU DO! We’ll be accepting bits and proposals from any group that thinks they could do something fun over the two nights of Follies that we will produce on June 18 & 19, 2016. Tickets will be $20, as it is a fundraiser, and we will have opportunities for raffles and additional donations as we watch the live total for our donations climb as the months approach. We’re even considering making it a contest for the various groups who perform the Follies; which group can raise the most in support of the Majestic?! Look for information to come out in the next week as to how to get involved with the Follies.
Second, come and see shows at The Majestic. Between now and June 30th we have over 40 performances scheduled here at the Majestic. Come see a few. Help us meet our revenue projections for those shows and therefore hit or exceed our revenue budget.
Third, volunteer at the Majestic. Put forth a proposal for the Follies. Usher a show. Help backstage. Help build a set. We have a high level of quality that we set for our shows here at The Majestic, and if we don’t have a volunteer to do a task, we have a staff member do it. It’s that simple. We refuse to not provide our productions with excellent service and support, and if we don’t have volunteer bodies to make it happen, we have to use staff. So, want to save the Majestic some money? Volunteer once a month for a couple hours! We have plenty for folks wanting to volunteer their time and talent as actors, directors, and other on stage positions. But backstage and support volunteers are harder to come by and equally valuable. Join our “blackshirts” today and help support the Majestic!
So, there you have it. A little bit of worrisome news amid the sea of excellent news we’ve had all year. But nothing to fret over. The first two years of a new business are bound to be rocky, and considering that EVERYTHING that we’ve accomplished since the City took over has happen in 16 months, it’s no surprise that it cost more than we anticipated, because y’all are DOING so much more than we thought possible.
For next year, we have a better idea of what works and what doesn’t; which shows need lots of support and which don’t. More than anything, we already have folks working on our two big musicals for next year, The Full Monty and Evita, plus the hundreds of other performances we now know are viable community efforts. Consider: at this time last Spring we had precisely ZERO shows planned beyond June 2015. Right now, a few weekends aside, we have from July 2016 thru June 2017 planned and already cooking.
In conclusion, we have done amazing things this year. But it was our first year and so those things cost a bit more than we would like. However, by working hard together over the next three months we can hit our donation target, pack out our remaining shows, and end the year with an amazing celebration of all things Majestic.
Who’s with me?