The Belfry – What We Are Doing Now.

Date posted: March 18, 2020

A note from Ivan Habel, our Executive Director.

As a non-profit professional theatre the Belfry Theatre provides income for many people. The arts is a precarious way to earn a living. Our actions with respect to the growing public health crisis has been to protect our audiences, our artists and staff by cancelling the remainder of the current season. This action will have a serious financial impact on the organization, but we will find a way to pull through as we hope the many other businesses and individuals in our community will as well.

Some of our patrons have generously expressed concern over the artists and staff who are no longer being hired as a result of this closure. I wanted to share with you all in further detail how we are trying to support our arts community. 

When we took the difficult decision to close the season, we also determined that our artists, our staff and our patrons finances should also be considered.  In ending the current season we of course are offering to refund the value of tickets or balance of subscriptions to our patrons. We also determined that we must support our staff and artists as best we can.

Every artist who was scheduled to be part of Spark Festival was paid the fee we had originally negotiated for their performances here. 

Our hourly staff, most of whom are no longer being called in to work, were assured that we would pay them for their normal schedule through to the end of April. We hope that other sources of assistance will be in place beyond and we will continue to stay in touch to assist as we can.

“The theater is the only institution in the world which has been dying for four thousand years and has never succumbed. It requires tough and devoted people to keep it alive.”

― John Steinbeck, Once There Was a War

The artists and creative staff who were engaged to perform in our final production of the year received financial assistance equal to 50% to 80% of the fees they would have earned had they been here to perform for you. These payments are significantly in excess of what we were required to pay under their contracts. We made this decision because theatre artists in this country live precariously contract to contract, and we feel a responsibility to those who see the Belfry as part of their artistic home.

For the staff still working here at the theatre or from home, we are busy planning an exciting 2020-2021 Season of performances and looking forward to welcoming all of you and the dozens of artists, craftspeople, technicians, and all of our extraordinary staff back to the Belfry.  The best theatre in the country.

Thank you for your support, your generosity of concern. Stay safe and healthy.