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When I joined the board of the little summer theatre that was the Ivoryton Playhouse in 1991, I never could have dreamed that I would be standing here today at the end of a record breaking summer watching the renaissance, not only of the theatre but of the entire village of Ivoryton.
It has been a busy 25 years!
After years of struggling to maintain the historic building and remain true to our mission of providing affordable theatre to the people of our community, in 1999 we committed to a long range strategic plan that began with a renovation campaign. We replaced the 90 year old shingles, installed a new air conditioning system and a state of the art sound and lighting system, built new dressing rooms and facilities for actors and , most important for our patrons, comfortable seats! Once completed, we set about developing a year round professional season.
Over the past 15 years our membership has more than doubled; subscriptions sales are the highest they have ever been and this summer, with our production of SOUTH PACIFIC, we had our first ever completely sold out run. This success has breathed new life into the village of Ivoryton. We now have three restaurants, an art gallery, several stores and a thriving Village Alliance that supports a Farmer’s Market, a Fourth of July Parade and our magical Christmas celebration, Ivoryton Illuminations.
It is time now to embark on the next part of our strategic plan – ensuring the future of the Ivoryton Playhouse. Our Making Space Campaign is a three part comprehensive campaign that will:
• Secure parking – a critical element in the ability of the theatre to operate
• Provide more permanent actor housing so that we can continue to bring the best talent to our theatre
• Build an endowment that is vital to the future of this organization to help maintain the building and enable us to continue our programs for schools, our community partnerships and most important, keep our ticket prices affordable.
This is by far the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the Playhouse’s 104 year history, but I believe that we can do it and the time to do it is now. If you sense, as so many of us do, that the Playhouse has come to a critical moment in its already illustrious history when the actions we take in the next few years will decide its future, then you understand the urgency of this appeal.
It is up to all of us to seize the chance, not only for ourselves, but for our children. Growing up in an increasingly isolated, high–tech world, there has never been a greater need for the shared intimacy and human connection that live theater brings. I hope you will consider joining us to share this legacy with them.
With gratitude for your support,
Artistic / Executive Director
If you would like to discuss the possibilities of a gift to our endowment or a planned gift to the Playhouse, please call the Foundation office on 860.767.9520 and ask to speak to either Jacqueline Hubbard, Executive Director or Krista May, Managing Director.