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Off-Broadway: Attendance Booms, Contributions Go Bust

Ruined091r Attendance at Off-Broadway theatres has been surging, but the city's many nonprofits are still struggling to raise money, according to a report in Crain's. Manhattan Theatre Club has had a huge success with Ruined (left), Lynn Nottage's play that could very well win the Pulitzer Prize today, but it has had to trim $1 million from its $22 million budget.

Also from Miriam Kreinin Souccar's story:

"The majority of the city's 60 or so theaters are nonprofits, and fundraising has taken a big hit because of the economy, with many expecting donations to shrivel even more next year.

“ 'It's a strange situation,' says Todd Haimes, artistic director of the Roundabout Theatre Company, which has seen a drop in contributions of about 25 percent this season and had to lay off seven staffers in February. 'Yes, our show Distracted is a hit and we have extended it, but the income from that is not enough to make up for the shortfall. In many ways, it's a horrible year.' ”

Nevertheless, Souccar reports, Off-Broadway is providing a welcome escape from the recession. As Julie Crosby of the Women's Project notes,  “Off-Broadway provides an intimate community experience at an affordable price.”

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