Last week, we posted highlights of the past year at NBYT. The numbers we cited reflect that NBYT offered more programs and productions, served more participants, and entertained more audience members than we had the previous year. We couldn’t be prouder of our growth and accomplishments. And we know that we have all of you to thank for that too!
In reality, NBYT is two theaters, and its story is A Tale of Two Theaters, if you will—a Dickens label inspired by the abundance of Christmas Carols this time of year and by our own upcoming Great Expectations. (Teen Company auditions for Great Expectations are January 21 and 22!)
Most of you reading this know that NBYT is both an educational theater and a community theater serving Greater New Britain, Greater Hartford, the Farmington Valley, and children, teens, and families throughout Connecticut. But NBYT is also a theater that is both growing and struggling financially with that growth.
In 2013, participation fees and ticket sales for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Comic Shorts, Once on This Island Jr, Super Duck, Any Dream Will Do, and Season of Light paid for only 47% of the costs of producing those shows. We don’t want to raise participation fees or ticket prices any further; it’s important (and, in fact, within the NBYT mission) to provide low-cost programming. Therefore, for the remaining 53%, we rely on funding from supportive foundations, government agencies and organizations, corporations and small businesses, and generous individuals. Unfortunately, support did not grow with our programs this year, and a deficit exists.
As a struggling theater, we’re in some of the best company. Today, Lincoln Center Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Manhattan Theatre Club are the most successful nonprofit theaters producing on Broadway. But a few decades ago, Lincoln Center Theater had to shut down operations several times before success, Roundabout declared bankruptcy and reorganized, and—as an intern in the early 1990s—I personally witnessed budgetary concerns at Manhattan Theatre Club. Each of these theaters had a supportive community that helped them to succeed.
Please help NBYT to succeed and continue to produce quality performances both by and for your children and others like them in Connecticut. We’re not asking anyone to give or do anything more than they can. If you can, however, here are ways that you can help:
- Make a tax-deductible donation to NBYT by clicking on the button below, calling us with credit card information, or sending a check to New Britain Youth Theater, 19 Chestnut Street, New Britain, CT 06051.
- Find out if your workplace has giving programs to which NBYT might apply. Often, preference is given to nonprofits which employees support and endorse. Sometimes NBYT may be written in in United Way workplace giving campaigns as well.
- Encourage businesses, large or small, to purchase ads or sponsor a production. Program advertisements begin at just $30, and business sponsorship begins at $250. Any business interested or seeking more information may contact me at 860-515-8115.
- Tell friends and family about NBYT—especially families with children—and encourage them to participate and attend our performances.
We know that many of you reading this support NBYT already, and we’re truly grateful and blessed to have that support. Merry Christmas to those celebrating this week, Happy New Year to all, and we hope to see you in 2014!
Executive Director and Producer