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There’s a fresh season of productions kicking off this year. I’m excited to see the dramas, comedies and original stories in store—many of which I’ve already noted in the main feature. But, unfortunately, 2016 isn’t all about fun productions. It also takes a lot of work, stress and financial support to keep a theatre running. So this week, I’d like to use this space instead to focus on the future of one of our local theaters, and one that I have truly loved and appreciated for the last few years.

Twin City Stage, which just completed its run of a family-led production, Macy’s Yes, Virginia The Musical, is facing a financial crisis and is asking for the support of donors to ensure its future.

For decades Twin City Stage has received a grant from The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, which has significantly helped the theater to meet its production and operational expenses. But as of October 1, the theater received a cut in grant assistance and a change in rental structure from the Arts Council.

“Like many community theatres around the country, Twin City Stage has seen its season ticket sales and individual contributions decline over the past several years,” said Board President Don Pocock. “This reality, combined with a substantial reduction in the operational grant, requires us to raise more of our own operating funds immediately — and on a long-term basis — if we expect to continue to exist.”

“Losing more than 10 percent of our annual budget in one large cut, coupled with a new rent structure, forces a new organizational plan,” Pocock continued. “If we are unable to get substantial public support, then this season could be our last.”

Fortunately, the Arts Council has offered to match donations to the theater, up to $30,000. “Donations are beginning to come in,” Pocock said. “The hope is that more members of the community will join in, especially during this holiday season, as people make their end-of-year charitable contributions.”

Twin City Stage, formerly The Little Theatre of Winston Salem, is Winston- Salem’s oldest community theatre, running for more than 80 years.

To make a donation, visit twincitystage.org and click on the Donate Now button, or call the funding hotline 336-777-6437. !

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