The saga of Theatre in the Square’s struggle to stay alive has yet another act.
On Wednesday, the Marietta City Council voted unanimously to grant the theater $30,000 to help it survive in its current location downtown. The theater had set a goal of raising $60,000 by the end of this week in order to keep operating.
The grant, which will be combined with $32,000 in donations raised since February, will go toward payroll, licensing plays, ticketing service fees and other critical bills, said Palmer Wells, theater founder and artistic director.
The $32,000 in donations came in part from a $10,000 foundation grant as well as donations from theater board members. Wells said the city’s $30,000 grant came from a surplus in car rental tax proceeds.
“We’re very encouraged by this,” Wells said. “It’s going to help us a great deal.”
The theater is an important anchor of Marietta’s downtown and is a regional attraction for metro Atlanta. The venue was also able to negotiate with its landlord a reduction in rent from $10,778 per month, to $7,000, Wells said.
Yet the theater, now in its 30th season, is not out of the woods. It still has a goal of raising another $400,000 by the end of June to help retire all of its debt. An emergency fundraising drive last year yielded $375,000.
The full theater board will meet on Friday to discuss what changes it must make in its operations if it wants to open a 31st season. ROSALIND BENTLEY