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Arizona Theatre Company raises $2 million it needs to support 50th Season

Posted at 11:26 AM, Jul 18, 2016

It looks like the show will go on.

Less than 72 hours after announcing that it had fallen short of its life-saving financial campaign, the Arizona Theatre Company said Monday a last-minute "flurry of pledges and commitments" over the weekend jumped the $2 million hurdle saving the theatre's upcoming season.

"To say we are thrilled to be able to make this announcement is the understatement of all understatements,” said Lynne Wood Dusenberry, ATC's Board of Trustees chair, in a media release.  “These last two weeks have caused many sleepless nights, but the outpouring of support, even from those who were unable to contribute to the effort, has been simply overwhelming.

The theatre announced rather abruptly at the end of June that it needed to raise $2 million to pay off debts and financially support the upcoming season--its fiftieth--in one week. An anonymous donor gave a major donation to extend the deadline to July 15.

If the money did not come in, the upcoming season would've been canceled and the theatre would have either restructured or worse, shut its doors.

Friday afternoon, the theatre had raised $718,805 from 670 donors. Well short of goal.

But, a spokesperson also said that there were some "significant" donations that were still being processed. A Tucson business leader and member of ATC's Board said he could guarantee $1 million from the Tucson community, if Phoenix and elsewhere could raise the second million.

While the $2 million goal is a significant lifeline for the theatre, it isn't a long-term fix.

"...there is still much work to be done on both the fund-raising side and organizationally to ensure ATC's long-term financial and artistic stability," said Dusenberry.

Leaders have already begun meeting to discuss strategic ways to cut costs, while maintaining the theatre's quality standards, according to the media release.

Let's hope that it does.

ATC's fiftieth season includes King Charles III, An Act of God, Fiddler on the Roof, The River Bride, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, and Holmes and Watson. Tickets for the upcoming season are on sale now.