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August 11, 2008
Crisis for Foothill Theatre Company

The Foothill Theater Company of Nevada City finds itself in desperate financial straits. The company, which has existed in some form for 32 years, needs $90,000 by Saturday or it won't be able to mount its next scheduled production, "On Golden Pond." They would then need $247,000 to complete the season.
At a standing room only meeting last week in Nevada City, FTC made a public plea for donations and support.
Artistic director Carolyn Howarth said waiting as long as they did - and finally going public with their problem - was a last resort.
"We were trying to solve it. We were doing everything we could think of," Howarth said.
"We were trying to be grown ups and solve our problems. It was a really hard decision to go public even when we did because it is so embarrassing."
"We're really in trouble and we need some help," she said.
FTC has a $1.6 million economic impact on the local community but Howarth said the city and county governments have never provided any financial backing. The company operates out of the historic Nevada Theatre on Broad Street, and helps preserve and maintain it as one of the oldest theaters in the state.
Howarth said that while the company had worked on reducing long standing debt from previous seasons, a combination of factors related to the economy is to blame.
"We've seen a small downturn in ticket sales because of the economy but it wasn't that which really hurt us.
What has hurt tremendously is second level fall out from the slumping economy - the loss of student matinees, which local schools said they could no longer afford. The price of gas for busing in the students became too costly and they also lost sponsorships with business that usually supported the theater company. Also losing the $300,000 Tahoe Shakespeare Festival contract (beginning this summer) created a significant cash flow problem for the company.
Since going public with the crisis the company has received about $20,000 in contributions from around the community.
In addition, a benefit concert for FTC will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, Aug.14, at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City.
Tickets are $20 and 100 percent of sales will benefit the Foothill Theatre Company.
For more information go online at www.foothilltheatre.org. or call (530) 265-9320.
Howarth said she tries to remain upbeat.
"I'm hopeful, but I'm nervous because we don't have much time. If we don't get it, we don't see any other choice but to close our doors. We have no other options."

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