Lakeside Little Theatre’s fundraising program has accumulated almost 3.4 million pesos over the past 18 months. The goal of the exercise is to raise around five million pesos to undertake extensive renovations to the theater.
Money raised so far has come from contributions by more than 60 patrons, show underwritings, special events and accumulation of excess cash flow generated from the theater’s operations. These funds have been deposited in an independent bank account pending the start of the project. All contributions of 1,800 pesos or more, which include a season ticket, are acknowledged in LLT’s show programs.
In an effort to close the funding gap, the board of directors recently decided to offer naming rights to the renovated audience chamber for a contribution of one million pesos by an individual, organization or business. The contributor’s name will be featured at both entrances to the audience chamber, and recognized in LLT’s advertising and publicity.
Funds from this year’s annual Gala, to be held Monday, October 29, at Cumbres Eventos, are earmarked for the theater renovation project. La Cocina de Guille, one of Guadalajara’s most respected caterers, will provide the banquet and renowned vocalist Mariana Vigueras Restelli the entertainment. Each ticket issued to or purchased by a contributor has a value of 2,000 pesos and includes a chance to win the annual door prize. This year’s door prize is a week in New York City, including air fare, accommodation and US$2,500 in cash.
Lakeside Little Theatre is Mexico’s oldest English-language theater and is now in its 54th season. The theater was built in 1985 and last upgraded in 1997 with the addition of the rehearsal hall and the wardrobe storage area.
The planned makeover – titled LLT’s Third Act – will address several design issues in the building, including seat comfort and space efficiency, inadequate accommodation for mobility challenged viewers, viewing angles in the audience chamber, antiquated and noisy cooling systems and a variety of safety concerns.
Changes to the audience chamber will include replacing the seating foundation and seats, changing the pitch of the new seating foundation, adding two wheelchair spaces, adding evaporative cooling under the seats, replacing house lights and adding aisle lighting and sound and light locks to the entrances of the audience chamber.
Changes to the stage area will include removing the existing stage and replacing it with a new one 30 centimeters lower than its present level, raising the top of the proscenium by one meter, adding catwalks for setting and adjusting stage lighting, installing new work lights and stage ventilation, and replacing the main curtain, teasers and legs.
The technical booth will be renovated and enlarged, its entrance will be relocated and cooling will be installed.
The Angel Terrace will be completely reconfigured with a new entrance and bar sales facility, relocated bar, and reconfigured entrance to the rehearsal hall to accommodate a small second story which will house the relocated theater office and library. Washrooms will be refurbished and reconfigured with relocated entrances and better access for mobility challenged patrons.
The green room and dressing rooms will be reconfigured and expanded, wiring throughout the building will be replaced, and a new wheelchair ramp will be added at the entrance to the theater.
With appropriate funding in place, construction is scheduled begin in April, 2019, with a target completion date of September, 2019. This is an achievable schedule but provisions will be made for an abbreviated season should unforeseen delays occur.