AGILE FUNDING ALLOWS QUICK RELOCATION
Imagine being told that you have to move out of your home in the next few months. With nowhere else lined up. In the middle of your season as a theatre company with deep roots but not-so-deep pockets.
That was the dilemma Road Less Traveled Productions faced early in 2015. “We thought we’d have a year and a half to find a new space, but that didn’t happen,” recalls Executive Director Scott Behrend. “We had to scramble to find suitable space and get everything moved in time for the new season.” Luckily, like a well-scripted play, things started falling in place before the curtain could fall.
A CAST OF SUPPORTERS
Ellicott Development had recently purchased the former Buffalo Christian Center in the heart of the Theatre District, and offered RLTP a two-year lease in what was once the Forbes Theatre. With an existing relationship and strong track record in hand, Scott was able to approach the Oishei Foundation for transition funding. “Oishei helped fund our strategic plan and staffing previously, so we had done our homework and knew what we needed for this move,” said Scott. “They were able to make the funding happen quickly, which made a huge difference.
SETTING THE STAGE
A number of other funders also pitched in, and RLTP moved into their new space in time to stage the appropriately titled “Speed of Light” for Curtain Up in September 2015. In addition to its strategic location, the building has a lobby and bar, amenities that are new for the theatre company. “It’s great for people to be able to relax here before and after a show, and of course, it’s an additional revenue generator,” notes Scott. “We were thrilled to be able to stay in the Theatre District, and we’ve had overwhelmingly positive responses from our patrons.”
As the only theatre in the area dedicated to developing new plays and supporting Western New York playwrights, RLTP has the philosophy that “theatre can create community conversation and be thought-provoking,” says Scott. “So we do topical, progressive, diverse productions.”
RLTP is excited about the future, with hopes for a long-term lease in their new space.