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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Struggles aside, Arizona Theatre Company meets $2 million goal

    Courtesy Tim Fuller
    David Alan Anderson, Kim Staunton, Terry Bellamy, James T. Alfred, and Marcus Naylor in Arizona Theatre Company’s Fences. Photo Courtesy of Tim Fuller.

    Don’t fret, Tucson thespians — the show will go on. The Arizona Theatre Company raised its $2 million goal, on time.

    Preparation for ATC’s six-show season came to a screeching halt late last month when the organization realized it was neck deep in financial troubles, the Arizona Daily Star reported. The company needed to raise $2 million before July 15 in order to begin its season in September.

    “Obviously we’re incredibly pleased and humbled at how the community stood up and helped us,” said David Ira Goldstein, the artistic director at ATC. “ATC is such a key part of this vibrant arts community, and we were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to continue a 50th season.”

    Throughout the fundraising process — which started at the end of June and ended last Sunday, July 17 — ATC’s future looked pretty grim. By midnight on July 16, over its fundraising deadline, the company was still $600,000 short of meeting its goal. Pledges continued to pour in after the deadline passed, though, and ATC reached the $2 million mark on Sunday.

    “We had hundreds of people in the community donate, and Mayor [Jonathan] Rothschild and [Michael Kasser] were particularly helpful, and we’re grateful for that,” Goldstein said.

    Kasser, a local business leader, promised to donate $1 million if Phoenix supporters could match it.

    “If I don’t get it from the other people (in Tucson), it will be from me,” he told, before ATC met their fundraising goal. “But if Phoenix isn’t willing to put up a million dollars, then that’s indicative that Phoenix doesn’t really want this.”

    They didn’t end up matching it. 448 of the donors came from the Tucson community, while 320 came from Phoenix, according to

    Having met its fundraising goal, ATC will successfully open for a 50th season, but company leaders don’t plan on settling to run only one more season. Management and board directors have started to reassess the company’s business model to ensure the 50th season puts the institution in a financially stable position that allows it to continue to grow and serve the Tucson and Phoenix communities, indefinitely.

    “We have balanced our budget over the past two years, and we need to continue doing that,” Goldstein said. “This problem stemmed from debt we’ve been carrying since the recession back in 2008, so we need to continue to recapitalize so we can continue another 50 years.”

    Goldstein said maintaining a strong working relationship with UA theater students is also vital to ATC’s longevity in Tucson, specifically. 

    “We have some theater department students in our first show [“King Charles III”] and other shows this season,” he said. “That’s one of the [community] relationships we’re proudest of, and we hope that will continue.” 

    The 50th season will kick off with “King Charles III,” which runs from Sept. 10-30 in Tucson. The show will be followed by Broadway classics “An Act of God” from Oct. 22-Nov. 12 and “Fiddler on the Roof” from Dec. 3-31, also in Tucson.

    Tickets, individual tickets and packages go on sale two weeks before every show and can be purchased at the box office or online here.

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