We will update this page with SJCT performance information and changes as they become available. For local information regarding COVID-19 concerns, please visit the San Juan County Health & Community Services website: https://www.sanjuanco.com/1668/2019-Novel-Coronavirus

From ‘Going Dark’ to ‘Lights Up’ Campaign Update

May 18, 2020
Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey, Executive Artistic Director

On May 5th, we wrote to inform you of the launch of the From ‘Going Dark’ to ‘Lights Up’ campaign to address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on SJCT operations. Following the cancellation of events in March, April, and through the end of the summer, the campaign seeks to raise $193,000 of community support by September 30th.

One week later, thanks to the generosity of the San Juan Island community, we are thrilled to let you know that the campaign is 66% complete with $126,000 of pledges! Thank you, thank you, thank you!Thermometer

We are so grateful for the support of our friends and neighbors and of course our Board of Trustees, all of whom have generously contributed to the From 'Going Dark' to 'Lights Up' campaign. We’re not out of the woods yet, but the heartfelt and generous response this week has been absolutely overwhelming. We are starting to look at possibilities for outdoor performances in late summer, a socially distant Playwright’s Festival, and what we can program for next season as we work to continue pursuing our mission of Enriching Community Through Performing Arts.

While we look forward to updating you with good news about future programming, we unfortunately have a number of cancellations for the summer. These updates are listed below:

  • May-August 16: The rest of the HD streaming season
  • May 30: Tingstad & Rumbel
  • June 6: Barbershop Bonanza
  • June 11-14: Spring Street History Class
  • June 23: Summer Film Series
  • June 27: SJIMA’s African Twilight Lecture
  • July 5: New Jersey Jukebox
  • July 19: Summer Gala
  • July 25: Birds of Chicago concert
  • August 6-9: Frozen Jr.
  • August 29: Krivchenia & Yang concert

Thank you to all our generous donors who have helped us get this far! We still have to raise about $67,000 by September 30th, and for those who wish to participate in the recovery effort, here are some ways you can help:

  • If you have already given to the campaign, thank you!Please consider telling friends and neighbors about SJCT’s need for support. The campaign launch video can still be found below.
  • If you have not given to the From 'Going Dark' to 'Lights Up' campaign, please consider a gift or increasing your gift.There has never been a more vital time to invest in the future of SJCT. Information about donating online or mailing a gift can be found HERE.
  • Become a Member. Membership begins at $25 per family per year, and include great benefits (all of which will begin afresh once performances start again).
  • Give your tickets.If you have tickets for an event that has been cancelled, please consider donating the cost of that ticket back to SJCT. If every ticket-buyer did this, we would be another $8,000 toward our goal!
  • Stay informed.If you do not receive our email newsletter, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to our list. This is one way we’ll be keeping you informed about changes. In addition, to read the complete update about the state of SJCT below.

And lastly, SJCT students have been missing their home away from home as well and wanted to let you know what they miss about being at the Theatre!

The State of San Juan Community Theatre
May 5, 2020
Nathan Kessler-Jeffrey, Executive Artistic Director

From ‘Going Dark’ to ‘Lights Up’

In theatre we use the expression ‘going dark’ to warn the team when the stage lights are going out. This is followed by a frenzy of activity as the cast and crew make the scene changes for the moment the lights come back up. Like many other theatres, SJCT is ‘going dark.’ We are currently facing some of the most difficult challenges since the theatre opened in 1989. Between March 1st and September 30th, we are anticipating the loss of over $130,000 in revenue from our cancelled events, and we have cut thousands of dollars of expected expenses to stay alive. At this time, it is unclear when it will be safe for us to reopen for performances.

SJCT Situation Report

  • Out of concern for our community and patrons, SJCT will abide by all Public Health recommendations as restrictions are relaxed.
  • All performances are cancelled, May-June.
  • It is likely performances will be cancelled through July and August as well. It will largely depend on how quickly Washington State moves through the defined phases of reopening. Cancelled summer events are likely to include our summer film series, all summer concerts, and the Frozen, Jr. summer camp.
  • Offices will be open with limited staffing when the Stay Home order is lifted.
  • Full refunds are available for all cancelled performances, though we are asking patrons to please consider turning their ticket purchase into a donation. Refunds and/or donations can be processed by contacting the box office at 360-378-3210 or emailing Parin Columna at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The SJCT Response

During the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, our staff have been working from home, engaged in:

  • Cutting thousands of dollars of anticipated expenses.
  • Applying for the Payroll Protection Program (we are still waiting to hear if we will be awarded a loan).
  • Applying for CARES relief funding through the Washington State Arts Commission.
  • Submitting requests that designated grants be converted to general operations, and our funders have responded generously.
  • Processing ticket refunds, exchanges, and donations.
  • Participating with the San Juan County Emergency Operations Center in public information distribution.
  • Seeking new grant opportunities.
  • Informing patrons about opportunities for arts engagement like the National Theatre and Metropolitan Opera streaming performances.

 In the coming weeks and months, we will likely be:

  • Postponing Mamma Mia to the spring of 2021, pending approval from the licensing company.
  • Furloughing some staff members during our summer closure.
  • Exploring which, if any, of our summer events might be able to take place outdoors with social distancing measures in place.
  • Asking for your help.

The From ‘Going Dark’ to ‘Lights Up’ Campaign: $193,000

Every year, SJCT relies on the generosity and support of our community to fund our operations. For the 2019-2020 season, our goal was to raise $360,000 of community support for our $790,000 budget. Before the pandemic, we were ahead of schedule! Due to high ticket sales and your generosity through the Holiday Festival and memberships, SJCT was on track for another record-breaking year. But after factoring in cancellations, cutting expenses, and furloughing some staff, the remaining goal is $193,000. That’s the amount of support SJCT will need by September 30th to avoid cutting staffing, acquiring debt, reducing programming for next season, or postponing needed maintenance to the facilities that make our mission possible. Fortunately, the strength of this theatre has always been our community. To get us started, we have a matching grant of $40,000 provided by a number of generous donors and every member of the SJCT Board. We must match those funds by June 30th.

Here are some practical ways you can help:

  • Stay informed. If you do not receive our email newsletter, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to be added to our listThis is one way we’ll be keeping you informed about changes.
  • Please consider a gift, or increasing your gift. There has never been a more vital time to invest in the future of SJCT. Information about donating online or mailing a gift can be found here: www.sjctheatre.org/support
  • Become a Member. Membership begins at $25 per family per year, and include great benefits (all of which will begin afresh once performances start again).
  • Give your tickets. If you have tickets for an event that has been cancelled, please consider donating the cost of that ticket back to SJCT. If every ticket-buyer did this, we would be another $8,000 toward our goal!
                                                                                                   

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