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Atlanta Theater Faces Faces Financial Crisis

Actors express Theater company Actor's Express is caught in a "true life or death moment." The Atlanta theater sent an e-mail blast Wednesday pleading with supporters to come to its aid, saying that it must raise $50,000 in four weeks and another $150,000 before July 31 in to stay afloat. Actor's Express is in the red to tune of $140,000. As the Atlanta Journal Constitution points out, the company is one of several mid-size theaters in the area that have gone public with their financial woes recently in the hopes of saving themselves from extinction.

The crap economy is, of course, a prime culprit—and Atlanta is by no means the only theater town to see its local institutions fall on hard times. As Actor's Express artistic director Freddie Ashley wrote in the e-mail, "We take some comfort in the fact that we are not alone—theatres and arts organizations throughout the country have struggled, yet time and again their patrons and supporters have rallied to save them."

Higher-profile theaters than Actor's Express have had their plights made news in recent weeks. Last month, the New York Times turned the spotlight on the National Black Theatre in Harlem, which is mired in a bizarre financial fiasco. Two weeks ago, Seattle's Intiman Theater announced that it must raise $1 million by September in order to keep its doors open.

Pictured: Actor's Express in Atlanta

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Come on Atlanta actors! You still have your tax-incentives, your right-to-work jobs and pretty much all of you have done a Georgia Lottery commercial by now, so how about giving back a little? Help the these guys out please! Even if they didn't cast you in the Brecht series in 2006.

-Jonathan Spencer (native Atlantan in L.A.)

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