You may have seen some recent news about the financial challenges other theatres in town currently face. While we feel for their struggles, we wanted to assure you that Seattle Shakespeare Company is on solid footing. In fact, last year, for several reasons, was one of our most successful seasons ever.
WHEN GOOD NEWS COMES ALONG WE WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU.
Seattle Shakespeare Company finished the 2018-2019 season with a balanced budget, making it the 15th out of 16 years to end the year with a surplus. We have been debt free for 10 years and have built a “rainy day” operating reserve fund of $100,000.
Last year was the first year we surpassed $2M in revenue. Our funding mix is 55% contributed to 45% earned. We rely more heavily on contributions due to our commitment to access programs, free Wooden O performances in the parks program, and extensive education programs in Washington’s schools.
Nearly 12,000 people helped us celebrate Wooden O’s 25th Anniversary in 2018 with King Lear and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Add that to the number of our loyal indoor audience and the individuals we served with our state-wide touring productions, and you’ll find that almost 55,000 patrons in twelve different Washington State counties had an experience with Seattle Shakespeare Company last season.
The start of our indoor season with Richard III was not only a thrilling artistic achievement, it was also an outstanding financial milestone. Our partnership with upstart crow collective for the production resulted in the highest grossing show in our history.
Onstage, in the parks, and on tour, 192 creative artists helped to bring our shows to life. Of the more than 100 actors employed by the company, 30% were actors of color. Female artists were in the majority at our company making up 53% of the total artists employed. Two percent of our artists identified as non-binary.
A BRIGHT HORIZON AHEAD
While it is great (and necessary!) to pause and mark accomplishments, we know that our work of serving you and our community continues each day. Our economically and culturally diverse region needs art opportunities that stretch us, lift the spirit, and bring us together. We strive to create experiences that are accessible to diverse audiences, while remaining true to the themes and characters of the plays. It’s our belief that classical theatre and the beautiful language and ideas of Shakespeare’s plays still speaks to all of us today and will tomorrow. That is what keeps us working to uncover new ways of reaching audiences and sharing these great works.
As we’re about to embark on our new production of The Tempest, we’re excited about the year ahead and our plans for the future of Seattle Shakespeare Company. You have helped bring us to the strong place we hold in our community today. We look forward to your continued support and good wishes in the years ahead.
Thank you for being a part of Seattle Shakespeare Company.