A press release just hit the inbox at Mad Theatrics HQ:
CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED, AWARD-WINNING ELEPHANT THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES PLANNING INITIATIVE FOR 2012 SEASON"Our administrative capacity, our fundraising initiatives, and even our developmental programming is often neglected due to the immediate production needs and deadlines." It takes courage to face up to this, and I think Elephant Theatre is making the absolute right decision.
Elephant Theatre Company Artistic Directors David Fofi and Lindsay Allbaugh have announced that the company will be taking one year off (the 2012 season) from mounting productions, with the intention of using the year to strengthen the company, and restructure the management and membership, as well as the Board of Directors. The Elephant also plans to hire a Managing Director, and to focus on the development of sustainable fundraising initiatives.
Said Allbaugh, "Although this is a very difficult decision, it is a necessary one for the future and health of our company. There is no doubt that we can produce a high quality show with our ensemble of award-winning actors, designers, and playwrights. However, it has become very clear to us that over the past couple of seasons that in order to achieve greater stability in this economy, and to rise to the next level, it takes more than ‘putting on a great show.’ Our administrative capacity, our fundraising initiatives, and even our developmental programming is often neglected due to the immediate production needs and deadlines. In this upcoming year we will strengthen the core of our company and our mission, we will focus on creating a strategic plan which will support our artistic endeavors, and we will continue to develop new work with our ensemble."
The Elephant Theatre Company, now entering its 16th season, is a staple of the Los Angeles theatre community. Known for developing and producing new work, the company has been named three years in a row by Back Stage as ‘Favorite Theatre Company to See and Work With,’ as well as receiving multiple Ovation, LADCC, and LA Weekly award nominations and wins. Last season's west coast premiere of Kate Fodor's 100 Saints You Should Know is currently nominated for four LA Weekly Awards, and one LADCC Award. The Elephant concluded its very successful 15th season with the world premiere play Love Sick by Kristina Poe, and the rarely produced Baby Doll by Tennessee Williams, both of which had extended, sold out runs.
Hollywood’s Elephant Theatre Company will return in early 2013 with an exciting new season of plays. A job description for the position of Managing Director will be posted in March. For more information, visit www.elephanttheatrecompany.com. Visit the Elephant on Facebook, and follow us on twitter @elephanttheatre.
Theatre is ephemeral. It's easy to neglect the tomorrow and focus on the now -- especially if you seem to be winning in the moment. For companies or individual artists interested in longevity and growth, sometimes you have to take a breather and sort your life out. It's the mature, responsible thing to do.