Space 55 Raising Money to Keep its Building, Fund Next Theatre Season

Downtown's Space 55 has been home to local actors and has provided a space for local and traveling theatre for four years. The space, on Seventh and Pierce streets, is known for popular performances including "7 Minutes in ..." and world premieres of Denny Guge's "A Bloody Mary Christmas" and "The Unhappiness Plays" by Greg Kotis.

But the group is now paying 35 percent of operating costs out-of-pocket and need some help from friends of the theatre to be able to keep the building.

"If we were to close our doors, we would lose a creative place for writers, actors, directors, and artists," says Michelle Kable, Associate Artistic Director for Space 55.

"We would lose another theatre that focuses their season on new and rarely seen work by local and national playwrights. We would lose a space that provides alternative interesting theatre at an affordable ticket price. We would lose a place that is home to a stellar education program for actors and playwrights in the Valley. But most importantly, we would lose an artistic hub in Downtown Phoenix"

"Currently, we are looking for charitable donations to help cover our overhead for the season and the expenses we will need to incur in order to improve the building," says Kable. "All donations are tax-deductible as we are a registered 501(c)3 organization."

Space 55, run by Shawna Franks and Bob Fisher, hosts writing workshops with local playwright and director Kim Porter and acting and Shakespeare workshops with local director and actress Brandy Hotchner.

The theatre has also played an important part in the revitalization of Downtown's Seventh and Pierce streets, though they still get a few humorous complaints.

"We need your help to continue to not only survive, but thrive," says Kable. "We are small, but we are resilient and have some amazing plans. Any donation small or large helps."

Or you can go to the theatre for a show. Space 55 will host a few performances during the annual Fringe Festival (dedicated to performance art in Phoenix), which kicks off tonight and runs through April 10 in Valley theatre venues.

People interested in helping out can donate money online at www.space55.org or mail in their contribution to 7000 N. 16th St., Suite 120, #290, Phoenix, AZ 85020.

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