Your support is critical to our ability to create and share stories on our stages.
We have been so heartened and buoyed by the generous response of our community here online and in your many donations and ideas proffered offline. Just a few short months ago, Southern Rep Theatre was navigating a challenging financial situation. We cancelled a production, furloughed most of our staff, and launched this “Save Southern Rep” GoFundMe in March.
Then, Covid-19 burst into our world and upended all our lives. Like an unwelcome, nasty character barging on stage at the end of act one, this novel coronavirus is a cruel, strange plot twist that we certainly didn’t see coming. Now, we are in an anxious intermission, waiting to find out when act two will start—and what will happen when the curtain rises again. As we wait, we also, thankfully, get to slow down and reconnect with what matters most in our short time here on earth—health, family, joy, and our love and care for each other in all of our many communities.
And what will happen in the next act?
At Southern Rep, we are feeling grateful and even quite hopeful. Thanks to your support, we are somewhat stabilized as we look forward and we are redoubling our efforts to build this home for art here in the heart of New Orleans. We have cut costs quite a bit—though of course revenue is down right now as well—but your donations, grants, and loans are keeping us going. THANK YOU!
Right now, our doors are closed while we wait for the coronavirus crisis to subside, but we are using this time to develop a detailed plan for what comes next, working closely with our partners at Rose Community Development Corporation and Alembic Community Development, as well as other arts, education, and cultural partners. One important piece of the puzzle is that we are seeking additional tenants to share our space and its costs collaboratively over the long term and reduce the overhead burden that Southern Rep has shouldered alone for the last eighteen months. This will help us manage costs, and it will provide collaborative opportunities for our artists and audiences to expand their experience with Southern Rep and our partners over the coming years.
This is just part of our planning for next season and beyond as we prepare to respond to the new normal we will all face in the aftermath of the current public health crisis. We can’t wait to share more details with you soon, and we welcome your ongoing support and suggestions along the way.
Today’s donations make tomorrow’s stories possible.
The future is uncertain, and the performing arts are being hit especially hard by this pandemic—but we do know that theatre is one of the most ancient art forms, one that has survived plagues, wars, famines, television, even the internet. We trust that we will gather together again and that we will tell stories together again (live and in person!) someday soon.
Until then, we will continue our work to build this sanctuary for arts experiences that celebrate our shared humanity, and when you are ready, we will be, too.
Thank you again for your support. We hope to see you soon again at Southern Rep!
Southern Rep Theatre is a nationally acclaimed new play development theatre and leading regional theatre in the Gulf South employing more than 200 artists and serving more than 10,000 audience members annually. Last year, we moved into a beautiful new home, the former St. Rose de Lima Church on Bayou Road.
In many ways, we are thriving here.
· Ticket sales and mainstage subscriptions are at an all-time high.
· Arts education programming is growing.
· We launched Care for Creatives, a popular program that provides low-cost, community-based wellness support to creatives.
· Our 4D new play development program and Acting Company provide vital development opportunities for local artists.
· Audiences are raving about the work and the new venue.
· In addition to our own performances, independent producers are booking our space and presenting a variety of work such as drag, comedy, music, and family programs.
But we are still growing into this new location and we have not yet caught up with the expenses of the move.
In one and a half short years, our building has become a crucial gathering place for dynamic theatrical experience – a hotbed of creativity, a source of strength for the New Orleans economy and creative community. We are steadfast in our mission, and we adore our new home. No gift is too big or too small and whatever you give today will support Southern Rep!
Why We Matter
SOUTHERN REP THEATRE is a crucial part of our arts ecosystem here in the New Orleans region and across the country:
· We employ more than 200 artists annually.
· We issue the most Actors’ Equity Association contracts of any theater in Louisiana.
· Last year we served more than 10,000 people in our venue with 300+ performances.
· Last season, our Mainstage featured three world premiere plays by New Orleans playwrights, including FLOWERS FOR HALIE by Troi Bechet; MANDATORY MERRIMENT by Ian Hoch and Leslie Castay; and Christina Quintana’s play AZUL, which was our first bilingual production; as well as other award-winning regional premieres.
· This season, we instituted an all-ages rush program with $10-15 tickets for every show.
· With our Sanctuary Stage, we have added a new venue in the heart of the city for music, dance, poetry, drag art, comedy, cabaret, live podcasts, improv, circus, readings, new play development workshops, theatre for young audiences, interactive experiences, live soap opera, film screenings, devised work, storytelling, touring acts, gospel, lit chats, fiction reading, fringe festival performances and more!
· Southern Rep nurtures playwrights to create stories that reflect the diversity of our city.
· Southern Rep Theatre has long been New Orleans’ flagship theatre for new and contemporary plays.
Help us employ local artists and continue to tell the stories of New Orleans and beyond!
With your support, we will be able to reopen when public health mandates allow us to do so! We are hard at work planning for different timelines and the possibility of ongoing or recurring restrictions on in-person gatherings for some time. The future will include new digital content for all ages, re-imagined Care for Creatives and 4D programs, and facility adjustments and production practices that support social distancing. We will re-schedule our cancelled world premiere of CHEMIN DU BAYOU by Pamela Davis-Noland for 2020-21 and fully implement our continued efforts to increase earned revenue and stabilize operations.
WITH YOUR HELP, we can keep up the good work. No gift amount is too large or small. Thank you.