Stage Door News
Stratford: Here For Now Theatre receives charitable status
Sunday, July 3, 2022
After hosting two seasons of outdoor theatre in response to indoor-gathering restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Here For Now Theatre has officially gained charitable status — a step in the right direction toward establishing its annual New Works Festival as an annual fixture on the local theatre scene.
Here For Now artistic director Fiona Mongillo announced the theatre company’s charitable status during a launch party for the 2022 season of its New Works Festival at Pazzo Pizzeria Sunday afternoon.
“After many months of hard work and administrative dedication, we have finally managed to achieve charitable status as an organization,” Mongillo said to cheers and applause from the board members, supporters, actors, directors, writers and other artists gathered at the downtown Stratford restaurant. “So this means that for any dollar donation of any amount, you will receive a tax receipt through the wonderful platform, CanadaHelps.”
Achieving charitable status, Mongillo told the Beacon Herald at the season launch party, gives the theatre company, which was established in 2020 to give struggling, local artists a safe venue in which to perform new and innovative works, a greater ability to raise funds and establish a more-permanent presence in the community.
“We can now do some really serious fundraising, which means we can actually fund way more workshopping and development of the plays that we’re doing,” she said. “We have a five-year strategic plan that we can actually put in place if we have adequate funding, so it really does make the difference between us doing stuff kind of year to year and us actually being able to make longer-term plans.”
While the artists and actors involved in this season’s New Works Festival will be staging a total of nine productions — seven of which are world premieres — indoors at the Falstaff Family Centre this year, Mongillo says the board hopes to ultimately establish a dedicated performance and workshop space for the fledgling theatre company where actors, playwrights, directors and other arts groups in the community can come back year after year to experiment with and develop new and exciting works.
“I’d love for us to get a beautiful space,” Mongillo said. “Somewhere downtown where people can park or walk that is not fussy. It’s not going to be a decked-out, beautiful theatre, but it will be a black-box room that can be really versatile and can support other arts organizations throughout the year that can support a tonne of workshopping, development, rehearsal and that sort of stuff in kind of an ongoing way.
“And it’s all new works. … So … giving the opportunity, giving artists longer time to play with that text and inviting writers in to kind of workshop pieces that are potentially being developed for a couple of seasons down the line; … a space will kind of enable us to do that.”
For more information on the Here For Now Theatre Company and to purchase tickets for this year’s New Works Festival, visit www.herefornowtheatre.com.
By Galen Simmons for www.stratfordbeaconherald.com.