It's a wonderful reunion for the godfather of
As costume fittings and rehearsals get underway, Mastrovito has taken on another role: helping to save the regional theater company.
"I've loved the company since I first started getting involved," he said, noting the company was established in the 1980s in
The curtains will come down on
The nonprofit theater company has nurtured talents like
"Unfortunately, without an immediate infusion of donations, we will be unable to begin our 2014-2015 season," according to the letter signed by board of directors Chairman
Donations ranging from
"If we don't hit 80 percent of that goal, we will return everybody's donation," Wilkenfeld said. Season ticket holders also would have their money refunded.
Cabrillo, which dubs itself "
Cabrillo's ticket sales fund about 74 percent of production costs, board Treasurer
"The truth is, and this is no secret here, Cabrillo has never really been able to focus on the fundraising side," Wilkenfeld said. "So we were really trying to do the best we could given our resources. Fundraising has consistently fallen short."
In Cabrillo's case, revenues from ticket sales are not released by the box office, operated by
Cabrillo will also see its rental rate increase for the Kavli and
Like the two other resident companies -- New West Symphony and
The theater group was paying
The heavy subsidies contributed to the inability of the city's theater fund to be self-sufficient and rely on assistance from the city's general fund, despite a promise it would operate independently.
"When the theaters are struggling themselves to be balanced out, there comes a time when the city can't extend the support," McComb said. "It has in the past, and that's kind of where we are at. But we are trying to assist Cabrillo and other companies."
Three years ago
Shiobhain Hill, the alliance's executive director, said the role that Cabrillo plays is critical because it draws upon local talent but also serves thousands of children.
More than 1,800 children are expected to see the company's production of "Mary Poppins" next April. Cabrillo also stages performances for military families and at senior centers.
Cabrillo officials have started hosting small, low-cost fundraising events to help fill the structural gap. They include concerts in the
Part of the
Word of Cabrillo's struggles has spread quickly. Board members have emailed pleas to friends, Mastrovito and others have taken to
"One of the interesting things that happened was how surprised people are. I feel a high sense of relief that we are engaging in this campaign," Wilkenfeld said. "We can't exist without our community's affection."
(c)2014 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.)
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