Theater Artists Olympia will host the first “Midnight SunRaiser” Saturday, hoping to raise some much needed money to keep the Midnight Sun Performance Space operating.
Organizers also hope the event will raise enough to allow some work to be done.
“The space is in danger of closing if we can’t keep up the rent. The landlord is kind to us, but we are living paycheck to paycheck and it is getting harder each month,” said Vanessa Postil, Theater Artists and Midnight Sun production manager and secretary of the board. “We do have a full season of shows coming up, but each show pays for the one before it, we have no savings.”
It was two years ago that Theater Artists Olympia took over operation of the Midnight Sun space in downtown Olympia.
It takes about $1,500 per month to maintain and keep up the space, and that does not include making any renovations or production costs, Postil said.
The space is in danger of closing if we can’t keep up the rent. The landlord is kind to us, but we are living paycheck to paycheck and it is getting harder each month.
Vanessa Postil, manager of the Midnight Sun Performance Space
In addition to operating cash, Postil said they need to raise money to upgrade the heating and cooling systems.
“The Sun gets so cold, like a freezer in the winter. We have a furnace that might be as old as the building is, and it is so loud you can’t hold a conversation when it is on,” she said. “We have no air conditioning, and the Midnight Sun gets hotter than the outside temperature, making it feel like walking into an oven.”
As a volunteer organization, Postil said the group has concentrated on keeping the space open. If they can find the time, the group would also like to pursue grants and sponsorships to improve the financial situation.
“In order to keep our art accessible to as many people in the community as possible, TAO has kept our ticket prices low and relies exclusively on the hard work and dedication of some extremely talented volunteers so 100 percent of the money we receive can be funneled back into the arts,” Postil said.
The group has not only put on its own productions, but it has partnered with local producers and organizations such as The Northern All-Ages Music Project, Stonewall Youth and The Northwest Playwrights’ Alliance.
$1,500 What is needed each month to maintain and operate the downtown Olympia performance space
“As stewards of The Midnight Sun, TAO is able to bring a variety of new art to the community that may otherwise go unnoticed — both through our own productions and in providing a venue for collaborative artists to showcase their talent,” Postil said.
“We need the support of our community to keep ourselves afloat. To do so, we are hosting a benefit showcase of some of our favorite local performance artists.”
Dennis Worrell will serve as the emcee for the event, and the entertainment will include local storyteller Elizabeth Lord, comedian and actor Morgan Picton and a burlesque performance by male performer Bananas Foster. There also will be live music by The Body and the original cast of “The Head That Wouldn’t Die,” the Theater Artists’ own original musical.
Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640
Where: The Midnight Sun Performance Space, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia.
When: The event will begin at 8 p.m. Saturday, with the doors opening at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $20 each, and are available at olytheater.com/sunraiser or 360-292-5179.