SST is a million-dollar gem trying to find a million-dollar increase

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Jake Klein

Tarzan at Super Summertime Theatre utilized aerial balancings from Trapeze Las Vegas and Braun Productions sparingly but efficiently.

Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015|11:29 p.m.

. There are 1,500 individuals at Super Summertime Theatre on this August night, however describing this gathering as a “crowd” is wrong. It’s an interacting, truly, of family and friends who have actually spread out on blankets and lawn chairs at Spring Mountain Cattle ranch.

It’s a breezy night, conversation-wise and weather-wise, as we take in the SST production of “Tarzan.” The program begins at nightfall, or thereabouts. However before the performance, we are advised that the local theater company requires cash.

About $300,000.

In the next 3 months.

That’s a lotta bake sales, folks.

This is not to suggest SST is going under if it does not pull in $300,000 by the end of November. Let’s back this up a bit: In spring 2014, SST was the beneficiary of a $600,000 grant made by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation in recognition of Dr. Keith Boman, who stepped down last year from the structure’s board of trustees. The first installation of that grant, $100,000, was made in 2014. But the game-changer is the $500,000 matching grant organized by Boman, which is to be awarded just if SST can raise $500,000 of its own.

The million-dollar question, then, is how can the regional arts business make that take place? If any individual can work that magic it’s Boman, but even he is concerned that SST’s fundraising efforts will certainly fail which money will never be delivered (and we’ll note today that you can contribute to SST at www.supersummertheatre.org).

“We’re discussing a company that has a hard time raising $5,000, and we are taking a look at $500,000, and we have no experience in raising that type of cash,” Boman states. “We constantly raise simply adequate cash for the following year, to stay in the black. We’ve never raised cash aside from to pass the hat, and that has constantly been fine other than …”

His voice drops, since as homey as the Spring Mountain State Park stage and grassy seating location feels, it is showing its age. SST remains in its 40th year, and such permanent facilities as the stage, the restrooms, and the sound and lighting equipment (which is rented rather than owned) all have to be dealt with. The capital enhancements include brand-new siding and upgrades to the theater, landscaping, a more effective electrical system, restorations of the concession stands and lighting booth, enhancement of the SST Studio facility, and storage area for costumes, props and sets.

For $1 million, SST could be structurally funded for eternity.

“It’s a gem of a center and the organization is nonprofit, so they are doing this purely for the love of it,” says Boman, a Las Vegas cardiologist whose own humanitarian spirit and resources helped result in the building of Boman Structure at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. “However the tickets and death of the hat cover the short-term business expenses only.”

That SST has actually raised upwards of $200,000 thus far is somewhat amazing. The company elicited the leadership of veteran nonprofit fundraising event Tom Kovak. The list of chances for the neighborhood to donate range from naming chances for the pavilion, stage, studios, car park and concession stand (from $500,000 to $100,000) to nominal donations of $50 to $1,000.

Obviously, the frequenters who take in such productions as “Tarzan,” which closed over the weekend, and the upcoming “Provide Me a Tenor,” set for Sept. 10-26, have been begged repeatedly. In regards to attendance, the SST assistance is remarkable as last season it drew 40,000 in its whole season, and it is at that rate once more this year, with the majority of shows at or near capacity. The key is to reach those who are not aware of the SST value, with tickets simply $12 ahead of time and $20 at eviction.

If you are looking for superior family friendly entertainment at a fantastic value, SST has that, every time out.

“It’s been difficult, but we are finding out,” Boman states. “We don’t have a great deal of high-level clients, we do not do advertising, but we have to improve. I keep stating it: This is a game-changer. It’s difficult, however this organization is so worth it.”

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/ JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Meal” at Twitter.com/ KatsWiththeDish.

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