One of the city's most ambitious theater companies, Music Theatre of Madison, needs $3,000. The company is making a plea for donations.
From its founding in 2005, observers have noted (and raised eyebrows at) the troupe's deep private pockets. Executive director Meghan Randolph has since overseen acclaimed company productions at a variety of venues, including The Sound of Music at the Madison Area Technical College.
However, the troupe's signature pieces are less-commercial dark musicals such as Assassins, The Leopold and Loeb Story and, most recently, the silent movie-era The Wild Party.
"Basically we just need to raise about $3,000 to make sure we're in good shape for the rest of the summer and for next year," says Randolph. "We're not in danger of closing or anything, but the loss of some grant funding made things a little tough."
Budgeting on the basis of hoped-for grants is not unusual, especially in this economic climate. Still, it's always dicey. A mere $3,000 is small potatoes for every local theater group, but in the knife-edge arts budgets of this recession, any shortfall can kill.
"I don't want to come across as a fiscally unhealthy company or one that is on its last legs," says Randolph. "But it's tough to be an arts organization, much less one who does lesser-known musicals and pays its actors."
The shortfall is due to the loss of a private foundation grant that Music Theatre of Madison had received in the past. No matching funds are affected.
"Luckily, we did really well with Wild Party, and our business and other grant support has remained strong," says Randolph. "I feel if enough people are able to make a $10 donation, that will put us in a good place -- and I'd like to encourage that, rather than insisting that we need huge donations from people, even though those are great too! But we want the whole community to know that they can make a difference no matter how much they earn."
Contributions may be made to the company's financial receiver, Arts Wisconsin, P.O. Box 1054, Madison, WI 53701, or by visiting Arts Wisconsin's website.