Theater 150 Announces new structure; strong start to “$50K Challenge” Drive

After announcing a $50K matching “challenge grant” last week, Theater 150 has received initial donations in amounts ranging from $25 to $2,500, according to Chris Nottoli, Co-Artistic Director.

“This is an impressive response to our announcement of the matching challenge and we’re very grateful to the community for their enthusiastic support,” said Nottoli. “The diversity of these donations truly reflects the nature of this community and the type of support we’ve received in the past–smaller donations side by side with larger amounts. The $50,000 match Donors, several long-time Ojai families, have expressed gratitude for the response, and optimism that the community will continue to support the kind of artistic endeavors we work to provide.”

Theater 150’s reach has been extensive with 14 years of mainstage plays, Music 150 events, readings and Studio 150 showcases resulting in over 1000 performances.

More than…

· 40,000 audience members reached

· 495 visiting artists appearing on our stage

· 54 Music 150 events.

· 113 Studio 150 courses taught to over 1000 students resulting in 259 showcase performances.

· $8,000 in scholarship money granted to Studio 150 students.

· 96 ten-minute plays, one-acts and full-length plays developed through the Writer’s Unit, Young Playwrights Prize and Studio 150 programs leading to…

· 17 fully produced new works.

· $2,250 awarded to six Young Playwrights Prize winners.

Theater 150 is operating under a new management structure which includes a new Board of Trustees, responsible for financial management and governing decisions, and a Theater Directors Board, which assumes responsibility for volunteer coordination and operational assistance to staff.

“We believe this structure allows a more efficient and effective operational model for the Theater by creating both a clearer division of labor and a broader base of the type of community support a not-for-profit artistic organization needs to flourish,” said Tom Krause, Board of Trustees Chairman.

Board members reflect the multi-faceted aspects of the community—business leaders, artists, local merchants, musicians, actors and entrepreneurs. Several former Board members as well as some newer to the Ojai community are involved.

Fern Barishman, Theater Directors Board, stated “I’m very passionate about music, theater and the arts. It’s essential that these elements exist in the community and with recent cuts in these areas in our educational system, it is even more imperative we support these endeavors wherever we can.”

Krause also announced the addition of Michael Addison as an Artistic Consultant, working with both Boards and the Co-Artistic Directors. Addison’s extensive experience with Shakespeare includes nine seasons as artistic director of the California Shakespeare Festival, as well as directing productions at the Oregon, San Francisco, Colorado and Utah Shakespeare festivals, and at the festival of Perth, Australia. He is the former head of the Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of California, San Diego, and provost of Earl Warren College, and has also served as dean of the School of Theatre at the California Institute of the Arts.

Addison will be consulting on Shakespeare and other classics as well as contemporary productions. He said, “I believe Theater 150 offers a unique venue in this community. I look forward to contributing to the development of the strong theatrical potential of Theater 150 as an artistic presence in the world of theater.”

To make a donation, go to the Theater’s website: and click the “support us” tab.


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