|Dear Friend of Georgia Shakespeare, |
In 26 years, I have never approached you in this way, but I must now come to you to ask for your help to save our theatre.
During the past three years of the economic downturn, we have been fighting valiantly to keep Georgia Shakespeare healthy and moving forward. In spite of the best efforts of our board and staff, we now face the dire reality of having to shut our doors unless we take immediate action. We are asking you to help us with that action now.
Our challenge is an urgent one. We must raise $150,000 by Friday, September 23 or Georgia Shakespeare will cease operations and shut its doors. Once we reach that critical benchmark, we will produce The Glass Menagerie and launch Phase Two of this campaign in which we must raise an additional $350,000 by December 31 in order to continue to operate and meet our financial obligations through the end of 2011. We will then be on strong financial footing as we launch a fiscally sound and artistically vibrant 2012 season.
When we meet this challenge, we will be out of financial peril and will operate from a new business model enabling us to sustain a healthy company, even during tough economic times.
We are asking you to help us in two specific ways. First, please donate through our website here and select "Annual Fund"or through PayPal here. Any gift that is meaningful to you is meaningful to us. Next, please share this message with all of your friends and family and tell them this is a company you care deeply about.
I know our goals and our timeline are both daunting, but the harsh reality is that we have no other options. Our situation reminds me of a quote from Measure for Measure, "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt." We have to attempt. We can't let our fear that we might fail stop us from trying to save this company. I have no doubt that with your help we can reach our goal and put this company in a healthy position, poised for a sustainable future.
When I think about Georgia Shakespeare and what it has meant to me, I am flooded with images . . . stormy nights in the old tent, picnics with friends at the Conant theater, sitting on a blanket under the stars at Shake at the Lake, standing in front of you during a curtain speech, watching a Garden Hills Elementary student bring Shakespeare to life, Park Krausen and Daniel May rising out of the water as birds in Metamorphoses, Carolyn Cook's fierce St. Joan, Neal Ghant's achingly beautiful Caliban, and Chris Kayser . . . well, doing everything he has done here over 24 seasons. Those images are just the beginning of the countless stories that make their home at Georgia Shakespeare.
Our staff and board are working hard to make sure that those stories don't go away and we ask you to help us with that.
Thank you so very, very much for being a part of Georgia Shakespeare's past. I thank you in advance for helping us create a new future.
With my deepest thanks,
Producing Artistic Director