DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Center Theatre for the Performing Arts, like all of us, has had its share of ups and downs in 2011. The Slightly Off-Center Players, as always, provided many high points throughout the year with a number of wonderful performances. In particular, the production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat demonstrated the high degree of skill possessed by many of its contributors in providing a very professional performance. The Saturday Night in Dover-Foxcroft series in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce also provided many delightful evenings of high-quality entertainment. The Whoopie Pie Festival, despite Mother Nature delivering a cold and rainy day, was very well-organized, well-attended and worked collaboratively with many other local organizations. But perhaps the highest point throughout the year came in August, when we were able to host a performance by Judy Collins to a sold-out theatre. That performance proved that indeed, rural Maine is capable of drawing the highest level of talent. There were many other fine performances and offerings throughout the year and we are grateful to have been able to serve the community in such a manner. This could not have happened without The Center Theatreâ€™s dedicated staff and volunteers, and the board would like to take this opportunity to publically thank them.
However, like other non-profit arts organizations in this economy, the Theatre struggled financially in 2011. While the Theatre did an excellent job in controlling costs, it fell short of its revenue targets. The Board of Directors recognizes the seriousness of the financial situation and is currently implementing a plan and strategy to address it.
As part of the strategy moving forward, the Theatre will be operating on a limited basis over the next couple months, cutting back staff while a re-assessment takes place. The positions of Executive Director and Front of House Manager have been eliminated. â€śWe thank Dwain Allen and Terri Moulin for their work and wish them the best. It is hard to cut these positions, but right now the Theatre needs to conserve its resources and put those resources into developing a strong business plan for the future. Assessing why we are struggling and coming up with a new plan will give the Center Theatre the best chance for success in the futureâ€ť says Tim Magee, Chair of the Board. The Center Theatre still plans to offer quality theatre, movies, music and cultural events as they also seek to develop a stronger membership base and more sustainable income sources to support these offerings.
A consultant, Tracy Michaud Stutzman, has been retained to guide the Theatre through the next phase and take on the oversight and operations in the short term. Stutzman is the former Executive Director of The Maine Highlands Guild and the Maine Crafts Association, is an Adjunct Professor with the University of Southern Maine and has served on several high-profile Economic Boards, including The Governorâ€™s Council for the Creative Economy and the Governorâ€™s Council on Quality of Place. She has also served on the board of directors for the Maine Association of Non-Profits and the World Crafts Council-North America as well as numerous other arts and education institutions. Magee states â€śThe board looks forward to working with Tracy Stutzman, who wrote the original business plan for the theatre and co-chaired the capital campaign that bought and renovated the theatreâ€ť. The Theatre is also creating a â€śRevitalization Committeeâ€ť and will be looking for input from the public about what has worked and what can be improved going forward.
Programming will continue at the Theatre. The first Annual Community Film Festival was held this past this weekend to a packed house and the performance of Schoolhouse Rock is scheduled for the first two weekend in February. Other events will also be offered.
What can you do to help? The Center Theatre is constantly looking for volunteers and if youâ€™d like to help, contact the Theatre at 564-8943 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Financial donations, and becoming a member of the Theatre are always welcome and would be particularly helpful at this time. The board of directors and a few friends of the Center Theatre have already shown their commitment to keeping the arts alive in the community by donating over $6,000 to help during this period of re-assessment. The Theatre is here to serve the community and with the communityâ€™s patience and support, the Center Theatre is dedicated to doing that.
Contact Name: Tracy Michaud Stutzman
Telephone Number: (207)343-1116