There is a very real danger that we may not be able to keep going and we greatly need the community’s help.
With rent prices skyrocketing, The Shoebox in dire need of upgrades and repairs, and theatre attendance dwindling, this Portland theatre icon is in jeopardy of not being able to continue on to year 23 and the thought of that makes me more sad than I can possibly express.
When I arrived in Portland four years ago, I began researching and visiting all of the prominent theatre companies in our community and was immediately drawn to Theatre Vertigo. It had everything I loved about theatre: scrappy artists producing edgy, fascinating pieces that were too risqué for the bigger companies, in an intimate space that allowed me as an audience member to be up close and personal with the action.
Over these four years I have seen hundreds of plays in our thriving Portland theatre community and one thing I noticed was that either doing a show with, or being a past company member of Theatre Vertigo seemed to pop up in all my favorite actor’s bios. It started to become evident that Theatre Vertigo was something of a rite of passage for artists in this town. So you can imagine my tremendous excitement when I got cast in my first TV show last Spring, and tremendous feeling of honor when I was asked to apply, and was accepted, into the company!
As I entered the company I began delving into TV’s history and was delighted to see that I was following in the footsteps of folks who, to me, are Portland theatre royalty. I feel such a sense of pride getting to be one of the stewards of this incredible place that has now entered it’s 22 year of creating important art!
I also feel a sense of enormous worry. Our current group of Vertigoans is working desperately to keep The Shoebox open (it costs us over $40,000/year just for the space itself) and our productions going. None of us gets paid for any of the hard work and hours and hours we put into keeping this place running but it is extremely important to us that the designers and actors of each of our productions get paid for their hard work. And, often times, if those roles fall to one of us, we forgo our pay in order to help our financial situation.
We realize that our intimate seating numbers and affordable ticket and rental prices can never meet our full running costs, YET remains the thing that makes the Shoebox unique. This is why we are working diligently to put in place a permanent long-term plan that includes corporate funding and grants; with the possibility of hiring a grant writer to aid with grant acquisition. However, that process will take time to implement. This campaign will help us cover the immediate costs of closing out our first show of the season, rent and expenses for The Shoebox for November and December (approximately $5,400), much needed repairs to our electrical system, and initial funding for our January show.
We are at critical mass now and the stress of making ends meet month-to-month is crushing our members. We are coming to you now as fellow artists to ask for your support. This space is incredibly important to our entire community as we have so many wonderful theatre companies use this space as well. If you have ever performed with, been a member of, or enjoyed any of Theatre Vertigo’s shows in the past; and would hate to see yet another performance space lost, please consider donating. With so many performance spaces being lost in the last few years, we would all be devastated to see another one go.
Please remember we are a non-profit, so your entire donation is tax deductible.
Thank you so much for all of your love and support over these last 22 years and we hope, with your help, to keep this amazing company going!
Adriana Gantzer and the entire company and board of Theatre Vertigo
**I, Adriana Gantzer, will be personally responsible for withdrawing funds raised and making a private donation outside of GoFundMe to Theatre Vertigo.