Local theaters need Tampa Bay’s immediate support to survive—here’s how to help

'We just got unfucked from Irma.'

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click to enlarge Roxanne Fay as Sister Aloysius in "Doubt: A Parable" at Jobsite Theater. - Pritchard Photography
Pritchard Photography
Roxanne Fay as Sister Aloysius in "Doubt: A Parable" at Jobsite Theater.

As soon as it’s safe to do so, Jobsite Theater has every intention of going through with its production of the Tony and Pultizer-winning play “Doubt: A Parable,” which was supposed to open last week at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa.

“The show is built, sitting there, and ready,” Jobsite wrote on social media. The company is even taking online requests for content it can “legally do from home” (copyright issues, you perv.) But like so many other theater companies nationwide—including the Bay area’s own American Stage and freeFall Theatre Company—Jobsite has gone dark for the time being.

“Roughly 65% of our income is earned revenue (ticket sales). We're not built for cataclysm. Irma wrecked us for two years and we JUST got unfucked from that,” Jobsite Artistic Director David Jenkins told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. His company is looking at a $25,000 loss on “Doubt,” so he has to find it somewhere else. That’s where the theater community steps in.

“It may sound hokey, but every $1 does count. We raised around $40,000 last year online, and the average kicked in was $50. We have a lot of folks that do a $5 recurring monthly gift. It really helps,” Jenkins said, adding that Jobsite has goodies to help fans rep the company. He asked local theater lovers to plan ahead and invest in companies by buying season passes for 2020-21; at Jobsite, a pass takes the price of a single ticket to about $22 with no extra fees. Jenkins even offers unlimited free exchanges when shit that might keep you from attending invariably comes up.

“Hopefully the world is back to normal by [September],” Jenkins wrote. “Just call it like a $135 investment in the company, a sign of confidence in what we do and a vote that you'd like to see us keep doing it. Those passes help us weather temporal uncertainty.”

And if you can’t give money, Jenkins suggests telling your friends about the times you’ve enjoyed local theater, which, he said is for everyone.

“A lot of people think of theater as THE THEATRE and we've earned most of the stereotypes that can come to mind,” he said. “But we have everything from high school kids to retirees, Heights hipsters to SoHo socialites, blue collar workers to city officials coming through our doors.”

“If you've been to a show, and especially if you frequent our shows, tell your stories in person and online. Like will attract like,” Jenkins added. “People will respond to word of mouth from ‘regular folks.’”

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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