Antelope Valley Thespians

Independant discussion board for the actors, staff, crew, and fans of theater and the arts in the greater Antelope Valley, California.
 
HomeFAQSearchRegisterLog in

Share | 
 

 From the AV Press 4/5/08

Go down 
AuthorMessage
James Jay
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Number of posts : 137
Age : 48
Location : Neenerville
Registration date : 2008-01-18

PostSubject: From the AV Press 4/5/08   Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:55 am

Interesting article from today's paper.

'Pirates' loses slot, seeks City Council's help
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Saturday, April 5, 2008.
By JULIE DRAKE
Valley Press Staff Writer



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
PALMDALE - In colorful, elaborate costumes, cast members from Desert Opera Theatre's "Pirates of Penzance" took a break from rehearsal Wednesday night to ask for the City Council's help.
Members of the theater troupe, which got its start in the early 1970s, are upset about the prospect of losing one of their traditional slots in the Palmdale Playhouse's upcoming season.

City budget woes have forced the venue to reduce the number of productions DOT and the Palmdale Repertory Theatre can produce there, from the typical three shows each to two per season.

That doesn't sit well with the theater groups, who say their contracts with the city permit them to produce three shows each season.

Jack Curenton, DOT's vice president, said the theater group is the only one from Palmdale that has successfully taken its show on the road, and as such can be considered ambassadors for the city.

"We understand that there is a budget crisis," said Curenton, who was dressed in his major general's costume.

He said the group has offered to buy time at the venue, but has been unable to do so.

"We feel that we can help with the hemorrhaging of the financial crisis at the playhouse and the city and take some of this stress off of your budgetary plans," Curenton said.

The two theater groups helped raise about $800,000 to help get the $2.9 million playhouse built, and, as a result, got contracts with the city that permit them to stage their productions there.

"We were part of that $800,000 donated to the playhouse," DOT Treasurer Jeanette Wells said. "We want to work with you guys, we want to be part of the city of Palmdale and part of its artistic development."

Wells said she didn't see how the city could break its contract with the theater group. She noted that DOT has lost a little bit of its rights each year.

City Attorney Matt Ditzhazy said reducing DOT and PRT's schedules from three to two shows was primarily for budgetary reasons.

"The theater will be rented out to other users," he said, "for a couple of reasons. One is it generates more income, the other one is that it allows other groups to use it.

"We're trying to increase the diversity of the different groups that are allowed to use it."

Dea McAllister, the playhouse cultural arts and theater manager, said the difficult financial times the city is facing means everything is being cut across the board.

"Everybody took a hit," she said, noting that the playhouse had to lay off six employees.

McAllister said budget woes are hurting everyone, from the city level to the federal government.

"This is hard times now," she said.

The city also has proposed folding the two private, nonprofit theater groups in with the city-backed Palmdale City Players under the umbrella title Palmdale City Players Drama Council, with three members each from DOT and PRT and five from the city players.

That council would then work to design the season, select which shows are produced and who would direct them, Ditzhazy said.

Under that scenario, the combined group could do five to 10 shows a season as the Palmdale City Players.

"Our proposal is going to be that they keep the organizations and they have membership on the Palmdale City Players," Ditzhazy said.

He said the city's initial proposal involved dissolving the two nonprofit organizations but neither group wants to lose its nonprofit status. Under the new negotiations the nonprofits would remain, although it was not clear where any fundraising money would go.

If the umbrella plan hasn't work out after five years, the city then could clarify the contractual problems the private theater groups are raising, he said.

Jay Solomon, DOT's vice president, said the city has not shown good faith in its negotiations with the troupe. He said the theater group comprises volunteers who work for free out of a love of theater.

"When I read the mission of the Palmdale Playhouse, it is for the community; that's what we're doing," Solomon said. "The playhouse is doing it at a tremendous budget, we're doing it for free, and then they're asking us to cut back."

Solomon also criticized the playhouse for not allowing the group to use the venue's marquee to promote "Pirates of Penzance," which is on stage this weekend and next.

The group's contract with the city allows it use of the marquee, but Solomon said the playhouse is now calling the marquee a monument and won't let the group use it.

Ditzhazy said because of budgetary issues the city will not advertise any upcoming shows on the marquee but instead will display only the playhouse's telephone number and Web site.

Mayor Jim Ledford said his interpretation of the playhouse is that it is there for the community.

"I personally don't care if we ever have a professional show in the playhouse if my residents are in there utilizing it for the arts, to learn and to perform," Ledford said.

The mayor said he recognizes that DOT and PRT have contributed in that regard but he said the city and the troupes need to come to terms and suggested the groups work out their disagreements at a meeting in two weeks.

"Fair enough," Solomon said. He then asked the mayor why the city would ask a volunteer group that is performing a service to cut back.

Ledford said he believes the upcoming meeting between the city and the theater groups will be necessary to take the relationship to a level where they can all have what they want.

"We've had a good relationship since it's been open," Ledford said. "I want to maintain that."

Solomon said DOT is willing to pay part of the cost for putting on its shows because the organization understands the city is having budget problems

_________________
If all the world is a stage, then some roles should be recast.

"Always remember, no matter where you go, there you are."--Buckaroo Banzai
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://www.myspace.com/the_magic_of_james_jay
QuantumCowboy
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 211
Age : 34
Registration date : 2008-01-18

PostSubject: Re: From the AV Press 4/5/08   Sat Apr 05, 2008 11:20 am

James Jay wrote:
Interesting article from today's paper.

'Pirates' loses slot, seeks City Council's help
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Saturday, April 5, 2008.
By JULIE DRAKE
Valley Press Staff Writer


This could be huge... in so many ways.

Thanks for posting this Jay, very pertinent. This certainly throws everything we've been saying into a brand new perspective!

_________________
_____
~QC
"Acting is all about honesty... if you can fake that, you've got it down." --Oscar Wilde.
"You must unlearn what you have learned." --Yoda, Jedi Master.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://qcowboyphoto.blogspot.com
keltroncybo
Moderator
Moderator
avatar

Number of posts : 92
Age : 36
Registration date : 2008-01-28

PostSubject: Re: From the AV Press 4/5/08   Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:46 pm

I am going to take some time to simmer a bit on this before saying too much.

But I will say that my concerns over the intentions of some of the recent proposals to PCP feel a little more firmly grounded.

_________________
Be mischievous, it feels good.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
CindyYagi
Neophyte
Neophyte
avatar

Number of posts : 29
Age : 38
Location : Lancaster, CA
Registration date : 2008-02-12

PostSubject: Re: From the AV Press 4/5/08   Sun Apr 06, 2008 3:10 am

This is one of the reasons I was thinking of joining PCP. I hate all the crap!! I just want to do good shows. PRT is not going to be happy about being lumped in with DOT. I know that neither group is ever going to get off their high horse and ever band together with any other group....it has been proposed many times with other groups in the valley and the playhouse. Everyone is always so stuck up and snobby about their own groups...THIS IS COMMUNITY THEATRE PEOPLE!!!! Get over yourselves!! We are doing this for the love of our craft...we would be getting paid otherwise....then we would be doing it for the money and then it becomes a hoese of a different color! I wish people would just be happy that we have so many options to choose from as far as the different groups and directors and shows that we are able to be a part of. We all just need to learn from one another and we would be further than we could ever dream to be! GRRRRR....ok I'm done. Sorry had to say something
Back to top Go down
View user profile
QuantumCowboy
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 211
Age : 34
Registration date : 2008-01-18

PostSubject: Re: From the AV Press 4/5/08   Sun Apr 06, 2008 9:14 am

CindyYagi wrote:
This is one of the reasons I was thinking of joining PCP. I hate all the crap!! I just want to do good shows. PRT is not going to be happy about being lumped in with DOT. I know that neither group is ever going to get off their high horse and ever band together with any other group....it has been proposed many times with other groups in the valley and the playhouse. Everyone is always so stuck up and snobby about their own groups...THIS IS COMMUNITY THEATRE PEOPLE!!!! Get over yourselves!! We are doing this for the love of our craft...we would be getting paid otherwise....then we would be doing it for the money and then it becomes a hoese of a different color! I wish people would just be happy that we have so many options to choose from as far as the different groups and directors and shows that we are able to be a part of. We all just need to learn from one another and we would be further than we could ever dream to be! GRRRRR....ok I'm done. Sorry had to say something

I agree. I think this is going to be a really good thing for theater in the AV, but IF and only IF everyone can play nice together, which may be quite the assumption by the city. To quote a friend, it seems as if DOT and PRT think of PCP as the retarded kids in the corner that they now may be forced to play with, and PCP thinks of the other two groups as arrogant a-holes who will more than likely snub us at any chance. You're absolutely right Cindy, its frustrating. These are the wrong attitudes to have. I'm just here to have a good time!

HOWEVER, I'm still optimistic! I say whatever plays out at the higher echelons of the city and theater management is not something we can affect right now, because everyone is trying to survive with the cuts and they are (correctly) going to take the route that makes the most sense from a business perspective, not an arts perspective. If they didn't, the business would go bankrupt and nobody will get to do art at all because we won't be able to keep the lights on. That's just something we need to accept as a given and work around it. REGARDLESS of what happens, lets just do our best and throw ourselves into this. Anything can be turned into an asset and an opportunity with the right attitude, and moreover, the best way to change others' attitude is to have a positive one yourself!

_________________
_____
~QC
"Acting is all about honesty... if you can fake that, you've got it down." --Oscar Wilde.
"You must unlearn what you have learned." --Yoda, Jedi Master.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://qcowboyphoto.blogspot.com
QuantumCowboy
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 211
Age : 34
Registration date : 2008-01-18

PostSubject: Follow on, 6/1/08   Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:10 pm

Theater groups' expenses to rise for season
This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press
Sunday, June 1, 2008.

By JULIE DRAKE
Valley Press Staff Writer
PALMDALE - Desert Opera Theatre and Palmdale Repertory Theatre may see their expenses rise significantly for the 2008-09 season.

The two nonprofit volunteer community theater groups, which have each been in the Antelope Valley for about 30 years, traditionally had staged three productions each at the Palmdale Playhouse.

Earlier this year each troupe lost one of its three production slots at the playhouse for the 2008-09 season for what City Attorney Matt Ditzhazy previously said was primarily due to budgetary reasons.

The city has moved each group's third show to the Larry Chimbole Cultural Center, a smaller venue that does not have the same amenities as the playhouse.

Later this month the City Council will adopt a new municipal budget for the 2008-09 year.

The budget includes proposed new facility and equipment fees that the theater groups and other nonprofits would have to pay to use the theater.

The fees include a $500 deposit; a $725 fee (commercial organizations would be charged $875) for theater rental, which includes six hours and four stagehands; plus personnel, equipment and ticketing charges that could add several hundred dollars to the cost of production for each night of a show.

"They seem over the top to me," said Donna Pitcher, a member of the repertory theater's board of directors.

She estimated it would cost $2,000 to stage a drama such as "Steel Magnolias," which the group produced in January.

"We only usually make, maybe, about $3,000 on a show. You take that $1,000 off, and then that's not counting our expenses to pay royalties, and costumes and set building, stuff like that."

"It's not necessarily new. All nonprofits are charged the same fees," said Dea McAllister, the playhouse cultural arts and theater manager.

"Their contract is intact, as it's always been, and that's what it is."

McAllister referred an Antelope Valley Press reporter to Ditzhazy for further comment on the fees, but he could not be reached Friday.

The theater manager said the city's budget problems will mean a much smaller season for the playhouse next year. The theater, which will be closed on Mondays, has already laid off six employees.

"We're in survival mode and all they got was one show cut and it goes to the cultural center. We even cut our own season down," McAllister said, adding that the playhouse does not receive any revenue from productions put on by the two theater groups.

She did not say how the rest of the season might be cut.

"I look at it like this - during hard times everybody needs to pull together and to think about what they need to do to survive and keep the core, so that when times are better people can go back and have the privileges and the extra perks that everybody had," McAllister said.

The fees could present trouble for both groups, representatives say.

Pitcher said while staging a drama "wouldn't hurt so bad," the cost to stage a musical is significantly higher because of the need to rent equipment such as microphones.

The repertory group plans to produce the comedy "Biloxi Blues" in October and the musical "Cinderella" in February at the playhouse, and will adapt the musical "Nunsensation" for an April show at the Chimbole center.

Pitcher said the theater groups have a meeting scheduled with City Manager Steve Williams later this month to discuss the proposed fee schedule.

Williams was out of town Friday and could not be reached for comment.

"We don't know if we can even put on these shows, if we can afford it, until after we have all these meetings. But we have to go ahead and get the rights, and we've already paid for those." Pitcher said.

The two theater groups helped raise about $800,000 to help get the $2.9 million playhouse built. As a result, they have contracts that permit them to stage their productions there.

Pitcher said the theater groups hope to persuade the city to charge them lower fees.

"We'll pay something," she said, noting that their original contract calls for troupe members to do some of their own work.

Representatives of the groups also suggested putting on a third weekend of shows, with the profits going toward the playhouse, and offered to give 20% of the profits from each production to the playhouse.

Desert Opera Theatre Vice President Jay Solomon expressed concern about the potential for abuse with regard to the fees.

"It brings up the question of monopoly because there's a lot of things that we would do ourselves and certainly there are people we have trained and can do it," he said. "The question is, if they're charging for things and it's relatively nominal, that's fair, it's providing a service, they should be paid for it. However, if the service they're providing is unnecessary and they're extracting resources from us, and we have no way of dealing that and we have no way of disputing that, then it's a problem."

As long as the charges are fair and reasonable, Solomon said he has no issues with them.

"If they're providing a service above and beyond the original contractual obligation, they're entitled to that," he said.

A proposal to merge the two with the city-backed Palmdale City Players into one group called the Palmdale City Players Drama Council appears to have failed, in part because members of both theater groups feared they would lose their identity.

They also would not have the playhouse for all three shows as well as any final say over what their productions would be.

"If your point is that the Palmdale Playhouse is for the community, it's a community theater, why aren't the community theater groups allowed to use it as per the contract, and why don't we have the support from the Palmdale Playhouse?" Solomon asked.

_________________
_____
~QC
"Acting is all about honesty... if you can fake that, you've got it down." --Oscar Wilde.
"You must unlearn what you have learned." --Yoda, Jedi Master.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://qcowboyphoto.blogspot.com
QuantumCowboy
Admin
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 211
Age : 34
Registration date : 2008-01-18

PostSubject: Re: From the AV Press 4/5/08   Tue Jul 01, 2008 1:10 pm

Does anyone actually have a copy of the contract that they can post? I have never seen it.

_________________
_____
~QC
"Acting is all about honesty... if you can fake that, you've got it down." --Oscar Wilde.
"You must unlearn what you have learned." --Yoda, Jedi Master.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://qcowboyphoto.blogspot.com
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: From the AV Press 4/5/08   

Back to top Go down
 
From the AV Press 4/5/08
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Harlequin Horizons/DellArte Press
» The latest Mandinam Press publication
» Mandinam Press - Shelagh Watkins
» Author Press Release
» Free Press Release Sites for your Book Promotion Efforts

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Antelope Valley Thespians :: Theater :: Theater Chat-
Jump to: