Where We're At
We are the Seacoast Repertory Theatre in Portsmouth NH. We are a year-round, professional non-profit theater. Our mission is to enrich the culture of the Seacoast through the shared experience of live theater.
In March, when businesses shuttered up and people stayed at home and waited to see how COVID would run its course, we transferred our theater into a film studio so we could pivot our live theater model into a livestream model. On March 18th, we broadcast our first livestream. Since then we have livestreamed 160 performances. From drag shows, to Cabarets, to fully produced livestreamed musicals, we were able to continue offering our mission to our community, and beyond. We livestreamed for free to essential workers and seniors, and helped people cope during isolation.
When the state of New Hampshire started to reopen, we were the last industry to reopen, and we were ready. We opened our livestreamed musicals to small, socially distanced crowds during the 4th of July weekend.
Since then, we have produced four fully produced musicals to live audiences, while successfully implementing strict social distancing policies. To maintain social distancing, we had to eliminate 70% of our seats. Even at a 30% reduction, we are still seeing approximately 20% audience sizes.
We applied for Federal & State funding and were rejected for both of them. We appealed these decisions and were awarded a small fraction of our losses through both. We've managed to raise a considerable amount of funds through donations from our community, and we are incredibly grateful for that, as it has allowed us to continue our programming, however such a drastic reduction in capacity cannot sustain our operations without further help. We're here asking you once again, to make a donation to the Seacoast Repertory Theatre or choose one of our perks.
Additionally, we started a series, and we're excited about it
We have a new series that we've created, The Sol Series, curated by Najee A. Brown. The mission is committed to amplifying the voices of people of color and diversity by bringing forward important stories of heritage, culture, and diverse perspectives to the American theatre scene and the souls of all mankind.
We need funding for this as well. Every day we talk about this series, we add more goals to it, and our goals right now are to:
Produce BIPOC Stories
Hold monthly Town Hall meetings and facilitate important conversations
Make theater programs and education accessible to marginalized people in our community
Incorporate BIPOC education into our Portsmouth Academy of Performing Arts
Attract and hire more BIPOC employees, independent contractors, performers, and designers.
Please see our video up above with Najee A. Brown, explaining our vision.
What We've Accomplished in the Past Five Months
Produced 160 livestreamed shows free to Seniors and essential workers
Produced 4 fully produced musicals to live audiences
Offered 4 camps for 8 weeks to over 100 campers
Employed just under 20 full time and part time staff member and independent contractors
Offered weekly Zoom meetings to our Senior Repertory Theatre
Created a new series, The Sol Series, curated by Najee A. Brown
Acted as fiscal sponsors to PopUp NH, a private-public partnership with the City of Portsmouth to help augment revenues to struggling businesses in our community while providing an outdoor stage to arts venues and independent performers
What We Need & What You Get
We have a gap in our funding and we hope to bridge that gap through sponsorships, donations, ad sales, grants, and live fundraising events. This online fundraiser is for a portion of the gap, and we hope to raise $75,000.
You can find perks for each of those offerings on the side.
Your donation will help us continue to maintain the current programming we have which allows us to keep our mission alive in our community and employing performers, artists, musicians, technicians, administrators, and more. When we are open, our business neighbors can feel the positive impact of this as well, so not only are you making a difference to our theater, you're helping keep the local economy alive.
Press & Awards During COVID
NBC - Segment 1
NBC - Segment 2
NBC - Segment 3
The Bus Stop Review
The Last Five Years Review
The Roar of the Greasepaint Review
New Hampshire Business Review
The Portsmouth Chamber - Small But Mighty Business of the Year Award
Risks & Challenges
All arts organizations are experiencing the same struggle. In fact, all of us are. Donations are down across the board, ticket sales are slow, and we still haven't been able to fully staff back up. Despite all of this, our team keep pushing forward and finding new ways to offer theater during this time.
If we do not meet our goals, the Seacoast Rep is not at risk of closing our doors for good, but we are at risk of needing to cease operations until we can bridge the funding gap. Stopping operations presents its own challenges, and almost becomes more costly and difficult to start back up again. But you can rest assured the Rep will be around for many years to come!
Other Ways You Can Help
We realize not everyone can contribute financially. These are hard times for us all. But there are still ways you can help that are just as important and useful.
Help us get the word out about this campaign by sharing it with your family and friends and leaving a personal note as to how the Rep has made an impact on your life.
Create your own fundraiser as a branch off of this one. You have networks we can't reach, and this has been extraordinarily helpful in the past. Make small attainable goals, every bit helps!
Introduce us to your business owner friends who may be interested in any of our sponsorship offerings, or if they're simply looking to make an impact in their community.