Dear theater lover:

I’m so inspired by you – our loyal patrons and donors. And, I’m moved by the President’s Challenge.

But it’s hard not to be sad.

This month, we should be chatting about your season ticket renewal. We’d be figuring out what seats you want and what night you’d prefer to see – on stage – dramas, comedies and musicals that might challenge or bring you joy.

This month, we should be chatting about your season ticket renewal. We’d be figuring out what seats you want and what night you’d prefer to see – on stage – dramas, comedies and musicals that might challenge or bring you joy.

For all of us who love live theater, COVID-19 is wreaking havoc. The CDC has told us that a vaccine, once developed, will likely not be available until the middle of next year.

The reality we now face is that in all likelihood there won’t be a 2021 season for Pentacle Theatre as we know it. This means another stretch without in-person rehearsals bringing people together, no audiences to fill the space with laughter, no shared experiences that only live theater can offer. This makes me very sad.

Our Finance Committee has worked extremely hard to reduce expenses to adjust to this new reality. We have cut every line item possible. We’ve reduced our already lean staff by 50 percent. Reductions include:

  • Furloughing the entire Pentacle staff for six weeks in July and August.
  • Leaving the position of our facilities maintenance coordinator vacant.
  • Reducing the hours of our bookkeeper.
  • Laying off the lead person in our ticket office.

As if that wasn’t enough, after 14 years, sadly – and once again to save money – we are leaving our downtown Salem office and rehearsal space and moving all operations to the theater in West Salem.

Have I mentioned that we’ve cut the budget to the bone?

However, amidst all this disruption and disappointment, I have still been heartened by the commitment of the Pentacle Theatre Governing Board and our generous donors.

Board President Chris Fletcher has recruited a group of generous people to establish a President’s Challenge. And guess what? Seventeen individuals have already donated $43,000 – an average of nearly $2,529 per person.

These generous people are doing this because they love the Pentacle. And, they want to inspire you to donate. Will you help match what they have given by raising another $43,000? You may not have $2,529 to give (and if you do – that would be amazing) but at this critical juncture in the history of Pentacle Theatre, any amount is needed and appreciated.

We do plan on returning to the stage. Even with all the budget cutting, there are still utilities and insurance that must be paid. There needs to be a skeletal staff providing security and keeping the property intact. Staff will be critical when we’ll require a six-month lead to get the 2022 season up and running.

Plus, we are taking advantage of the pandemic; we’re doing the important work of strategizing how we can be a more diverse and inclusive theater. That is exciting and gives me hope. We are writing grants and we are working to communicate regularly with you, our valued friends and patrons. To keep everything moving forward, we need you to help us meet this President’s Challenge.

In advance, thank you so much for your gift to the President’s Challenge. Your generosity will sustain Pentacle Theatre until we can safely and joyously return to our little “Treasure in the Woods.”

With gratitude,

Lisa Joyce
Executive Director

P.S. I want to thank the following people who have already generously given to the President’s Challenge…I’d love to add your name to the list:

  • Chris Fletcher and Pamela Abernethy
  • Benny and Robin Bower
  • Erik and Laura Davis
  • Bruce and Barbara Thompson
  • Michael and Diane Francis
  • Craig and Cherie Cline
  • MaryKate (Katie) Lindbeck
  • Jeff Witt and Jon Stuber
  • Liz and Don Rogers

P.P.S. You can give securely right here. Thank you, in advance for your generosity.