The Effect of COVID-19
Let's be clear. We aren't the only ones who need help. The Coronavirus is effectively decimating the arts industry, and local and community-focused businesses across the board. If you're compelled to read further, we're grateful. If you've stopped reading now to go lend a hand, whether through time or treasure, to someone in need, we applaud you.
So if you're still with us, here's the skinny. The Coronavirus gutted our spring, and possibly summer (and maybe fall?). Our Mainstage Production of ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD is cancelled. Two ShakesBEERience events (Hamlet in Newburyport and Henry IV.ii in Portsmouth) have been kiboshed. Our education and workshop gigs have all been cancelled. Not to mention, spring is the time when the majority of our corporate sponsors renew their generous support for our summer and fall programming. That has obviously (and understandably) come to a halt as efforts are refocused on getting through this devastating pandemic.
By the numbers?- we're looking at a loss of $20,000-$30,000. Administratively, our organization is an unpaid, full-time team of two. We only pay ourselves when we're working on a project in an artistic capacity (ex. working as a director, actor or designer on a production), otherwise-- every dollar raised goes to our artists involved in each project. So what we're talking about here isn't covering staff salaries or overhead expenses... we're talking about our actual ability to produce the FREE FOR ALL, Or Pay What You Will Shakespeare that we've been bringing to Seacoast audiences and beyond since 2012. We'd planned to raise $30,000 through corporate sponsorships, individual supporters and foundation gifts in order to produce our spring, summer and fall seasons which included a production of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE this spring, two full productions al fresco this summer-- A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM and THE TEMPEST, as well as THE BOOK OF WILL at the charming historic warehouse at Wentworth-Gardner Historic House this fall. Not to mention a special, fundraising event planned for April, and our annual ShakesBEERience Encore planned for June.
Much, if not all of that is now in jeopardy as our planned and projected funding has come to a screeching halt.
And sure, individually we're hurting. We work as artists, and yes- that's always come with an accepted fiscal struggle that's been overcome through innovation, passion and tireless effort. Yet despite finding ways to create a path for ourselves, the universe had other plans in mind for this moment, and we now find ourselves deleting gig after gig from our calendars. That only makes the work we do for Seven Stages as individual artists (as directors, actors, designers) even more important as every bit of income becomes critical to help pay the very unsexy, everyday expenses (rent, utilities, etc..) And yet, those projects are on hold for the foreseeable future.
So what does all of this mean?- and what can you do? Here's a few ideas...
1) We'd certainly be exceedingly grateful if you'd consider throwing a dollar (or two, or ten thousand ::wink::) our way.
If you're a business, boy-oh-boy do we have badass and insanely-visible sponsorship benefits we can offer you in exchange for your support.
If you're an individual, you can be sure you'll be showered with personal attention, love and gratitude.
All donors (corporate and individual) can give online, and thanks to our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas, your gift is tax deductible.
2) Hold on to hope. Lift each other up. Be kind. Share what's keeping you going. Stay safe and healthy, both mentally and physically. Support those people and businesses that mean the most to you with a digital shout out and lots of good vibes. Stay personally connected. Call your family. Call us. We're here for you, and always eager to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for sharing your time with us by reading this. We're grateful you navigated your way here. And to quote a good pal of ours, "Love and Antibodies" to you and yours.
Give Via Check
Thank You to Our Fiscal Sponsor
Please make out the check to "Fractured Atlas", include “Seven Stages Shakespeare Company” in the memo line, and mail to the following address:
Seven Stages Shakespeare Company
P.O. Box 774
Portsmouth, NH 03802