Harlequin Productions: Building a Sustainable Future

first_imgFacebook21Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Rebekah Finn for Harlequin ProductionsHarlequin Productions has been an Olympia institution since 1991, witness to the ups and downs of the local economy. Now, in 2017, as they prepare to reveal the lineup for their 27th season, Harlequin founders Scot and Linda Whitney, along with their staff of passionate artists and professionals, are looking to the future. For 26 years, Harlequin Productions has provided a crucial cornerstone of art and entertainment in the Olympia community, and now the question is whether the community will help it continue.Why is it important to keep a live theater company open in our community?Maggie Ferguson-Wagstaffe and Christian Doyle perform in this year’s Stardust show. Photo courtesy: Harlequin Productions.Live theater has played a crucial role in society, stretching back thousands of years to a time when the general public was largely illiterate. Before books and newspapers, actors and live performances were essential for sharing spiritual and philosophical knowledge with the general public. As more and more people have learned to read and as technology has advanced, live theater has remained a vital way for humans to connect to stories and to each other.In a time when science is beginning to show concerns about how mobile devices may be affecting children’s brains, and adults have trouble looking each other in the eye because phones are easier to interact with, a place to tell stories face-to-face is increasingly necessary.How can we help?As the following graph shows, Harlequin Productions has been able to keep its nose above the water of encroaching expenses (red line), but has worked harder and harder to stay afloat (green line) as a nonprofit organization.With its productions being completely locally produced, and not having some of the same public, corporate and national support opportunities as more metropolitan areas, Harlequin relies on the support of the local community. Besides buying tickets and attending shows, Olympia arts patrons support Harlequin’s work through business sponsorships and individual donations.An easy and fun way to help make Harlequin sustainable is by joining the RLT Club. (Real. Live. Theater.) The concept is that many people giving a little adds up to a lot. Currently, there are 107 members, who make an automated donation of an average of $25 per month. That may not sound like much, but it adds up quickly to over $27,000 per year.Harlequin Productions produces modern, cutting-edge shows alongside classics like the 1955 show, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” proving the timeless nature of theater.In order to help stabilize finances, Harlequin has set a goal of signing up 200 new sustaining members. It’s easy to join and effortless from then on. (You may also stop your recurring donation at any time.) When you sign up, you’ll receive an RLT Club button. And every time you wear it to a show, you get a free cookie! If you join at $25/month or more, you’ll get an official RLT Club tote bag, too.The best news is that contributing to this important organization will make you feel good. You will surely be entertained when you attend a Harlequin show. You’ll feel even better knowing that you are supporting this local jewel, especially as you munch a delicious cookie. Buy tickets today by visiting harlequinproductions.org. And join the RLT Club to become a VIP Sustaining Memberlast_img

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