A Message from the Managing Director
The 2013-2014 season at Skylight Music Theatre was busier than ever starting with the introduction of our new Artistic Director, Viswa Subbaraman, and the exciting array of productions he planned for his first season. We created a whole new menu of initiatives and activities in the community fostered by Viswa’s vision of reaching out to a wider audience and engaging everyone in meaningful conversations about the art we are creating.
Artistically, we had an incredibly successful season that generated tremendous excitement and critical acclaim. Opera Magazine described Viswa’s Fidelio as “brilliantly insane” and “stunning in its audacity”. Broadwayworld.com said of Hydrogen Jukebox that ”Skylight’s operatic journey, whether effortlessly enjoyed or interestingly appreciated, travels the road of endless theatrical imaginations where freedom in creativity and speech endures.” I like to think that this is an apt description of just about every Skylight production.
Despite our incredible artistic successes this season, our year was not without its challenges financially. At a total of $1.3 million, ticket sales were the second highest in Skylight history. Les Miserables was a tremendous box office success, well exceeding our goal. Unfortunately, ticket sales over the rest of the season did not meet expectations, leading to an overall shortfall from budget of approximately $100,000.
Production expenses ended up under budget, but were markedly higher than the prior year simply due the fact that we had two unusually small shows last season. Expenses related to maintaining the Broadway Theatre Center continue to challenge us and increase every year. Emergency repairs for our elevator and HVAC system resulted in facility expenses that were $75,000 higher than anticipated.
Overall, Skylight ended the season with a net loss of $237,000. This is definitely not a result we plan to repeat in the coming year! The board has worked with staff to create a budget plan for the 2014-2015 season that not only breaks even, but includes a surplus. We are also hard at work updating the strategic plan started in 2012 to set exciting yet realistic goals for the future. As we conclude our season built on the theme of “Revolution,” we are delighted by the response to our upcoming 2014-2015 season.
Finally, let me thank all of our generous and loyal donors and patrons for your support of Skylight Music Theatre. We are so proud that you join us to be a part of the magic we create on stage and could truly not do it without you.
Amy S. Jensen