News Column

City of Sunnyvale, California Theatre Center reach new agreement

June 19, 2014

By Alia Wilson, Sunnyvale Sun, Calif.



June 19--To offset an increase in rental cost from the city, the California Theatre Center will be reducing the length of its Young Audience Season for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

Negotiations began in January with the professional theater group, which is marking its 38th year.

California Theatre Center (CTC) and the city of Sunnyvale reached a new two-year agreement last month regarding the community theater group's use of the Sunnyvale Theatre for performances for young audiences through the 2015-16 performance season.

CTC will shorten its school and family season by 20 percent.

"Costs for doing business have escalated in the Santa Clara Valley; ticket sales revenues can not keep up with rising costs, including the rental costs of theaters like the Sunnyvale Theatre," said Susan Earle, California Theatre Center administrative director. "CTC has a unique situation as well. In order to keep theater tickets at a reasonable rate--much of CTC's business is with schools for educational field trips--for both schools and family audiences, CTC can not simply raise ticket prices to keep up with cost-of-living adjustments."

The season will begin in October and end in early May, with breaks to match the local school district vacation periods.

According to the city manager's office, this change--and similar changes made by Sunnyvale Community Players earlier this year--will allow the 200-seat Sunnyvale Theatre to increase its rental availability and serve a wider variety of cultural and performing arts groups in the community.

Earle added that it was also agreed that CTC's Summer Rep would require a separate agreement with the city instead of being included in the school year contract, and that CTC would use the ticket sales and attendance during the summer as a benchmark to determine the continuing viability of a summer series.

"Both the length of the season was compressed, and also the number of shows in the season was reduced from CTC's average 13 to 10 productions," Earle said. "CTC's goal was to find a situation which was both fiscally responsible and which would also result in a positive outcome agreeable to both parties."

CTC has a full-time operating staff of 22-30 members, including performers, technicians, designers, directors, playwrights and administrators. The CTC season runs from September until July and presents more than 500 performances of 14-18 plays to an audience of more than 60,000 in Santa Clara Valley each year and an additional 90,000 on tour.

CTC's Young Audience Series includes school morning performances for grades kindergarten and up, and evening and weekend performances for families. CTC also has year-round education programs and workshops for hundreds of school children each year.

Shows

CTC's Summer Rep 2014 has three productions playing in repertory now through July 20 at the Sunnyvale Theatre: Educating Rita, The 39 Steps and The Tempest. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and some Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10-$26. For tickets and information, visit ctcinc.org/2014_Rep.html or call 408.245.2978.

The plays in the 2014-15 Young Audience Season are: Harry the Dirty Dog, Androcles and the Lion, The Cay, The Elves and the Shoemaker, Madeline's Christmas, Puss in Boots, King of the Golden River, Brave Irene, The Emperor's New Clothes and Charlotte's Web.

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(c)2014 the Sunnyvale Sun (San Jose, Calif.)

Visit the Sunnyvale Sun (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com/sunnyvale

Distributed by MCT Information Services


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Source: Sunnyvale Sun (San Jose, CA)


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