Patron Information Regarding COVID-19
Updated August 10, 2020 at 11:00AM
August 10, 2020
Dear patrons and community members,
If you had told me five months ago that MCPA would still be closed in August and would remain so for the indefinite future, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here we are and theaters remain shuttered.
MCPA has cancelled or rescheduled close to 100 shows and events since March, including our biggest annual fundraisers and five mainstage performances. Camps and workshops moved online and, perhaps most heartbreaking, the Youtheatre performance of Little Mermaid, Jr was cancelled during dress rehearsals after months of hard work by our community’s young performers.
In addition to the cultural hole these cancellations create, lost programming opportunities have a big effect of MCPA’s budget and finances. Earned revenue – ticket sales, rental fees, tuitions – is significantly lower than years past due to the lack of shows and contributed income is down as well. These are the dollars MCPA invests back into the community through partnerships with other non-profits, scholarships and creative, mission-based shows.
Cuts to our expenses include changes in staffing and the elimination of non-essential services and with these responses MCPA can tread water for the immediate future. We are fortunate in that. In a recent survey, 90% of our counterparts in the performing arts report they will likely go out of business if they are closed until the end of the year.
While we wait this out MCPA has embraced new ideas. Along with drive in and streaming entertainment, we are hosting Hancock County Common Pleas Court proceedings on a regular basis – giving them the space to safely ensure justice continues to be served during the pandemic.
We’re also sharing our stage and personnel with the University of Findlay and partnering with the Findlay Hancock County Chamber of Commerce, relationships that benefit the bottom line and effectiveness of each organization.
People ask me when MCPA will reopen and I simply don’t know. We planned to open a shortened season in December only to have the artist cancel their entire tour. Maybe January. Or perhaps we will be forced to forgo the 20/21 season in its entirety. I do know that when the venue does reopen, we will be waiting to welcome you back.
In the meantime, please think of us. Think of staff, facing furloughs and pay cuts. Think of the kids, missing out on exciting and educational performing arts adventures on top of everything else they have lost during this time. And think of the artists we hoped to bring to our stage, currently treading water themselves until they can get back on the road.
And if you are so inclined, please reach to our local, state and nationally elected representatives. Let them know how important the arts are to you and our community. Ask them to not forget that the performing arts industry contributes significantly to our economy and provide valuable, communal experiences that can’t be replicated over the internet.
Once again, I thank you for your patience and dedication to our community and the arts.
Heather J. Clow
MCPA Executive Director
The Economics of Reopening the Arts
Governor DeWine recently announced the reopening of “certain entertainment facilities.” Live performance venues, like Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, were not included on the list.
We cannot wait for a time when everyone is safely welcomed back to live music, theater and dance at MCPA. But the social distancing requirements for reopening present a severe economic challenge and even in the arts, it all comes down to the numbers.
Imagine that MCPA is bringing Your Favorite Band to Findlay. Depending on your preferences, the fee for Your Favorite Band is anywhere from $15,000 to over $100,000 for one performance. Let’s say that you have fairly modest tastes and the band is paid $25,000.
The Donnell Theater has 969 seats. Divide the band’s fee by the number of seats and that’s a reasonably priced $26 ticket. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
The band’s fee is just the beginning. MCPA employs technicians; feeds and houses the members of Your Favorite Band and their entourage; hires security; rents extra equipment; markets the show; and pays ticketing, music licensing, insurance and credit card fees.
Those other expenses – which don’t include the overhead expenses to keep the venue lit, cleaned, heated and staffed -- often total more than the artist’s fee.
With a price tag of $50,000, a sell out at $52 ticket is required to cover expenses. That’s higher, but still fairly consistent with other ticket prices in the region.
Now introduce measures requiring six feet of distance between patrons. In the strictest adherence to the rule, Donnell Theater is reduced to 150 seats. With some creativity we could still only sell 325 tickets. Either way the ticket prices jump to $150 to $350 each which is unaffordable for a majority of the community.
In addition to the economics, we are a part of the performing arts industry’s world-wide ecosystem. Broadway and touring productions are on hold until at least September. Bands have announced they won’t be touring until 2021. International artists aren’t able to acquire visas to tour in America, if they are even willing to leave their own countries.
Please don’t be discouraged. We’re not. Shows will return to MCPA. In the meantime we will provide creative alternatives including drive-in concerts, exhibits in the Fisher Wall Art Gallery, virtual performances, at-home camps and workshops, shows featuring local bands and more.
Along with creativity and hard work, we need your patience and understanding. Patience when we aren’t able to present Your Favorite Band immediately after venues reopen. Understanding if our initial offerings are limited because, after being completely closed for four months, we are managing our resources wisely to ensure MCPA will be in Findlay for generations to come.
There are hundreds of studies highlighting the benefits of the arts, both to individuals and whole communities. But if you look around, the value the arts bring to our community is apparent. You can see it in the kids onstage performing with Youtheatre and the people hanging out with their friends at Boogie. You can see it in Japan week celebrations and Dueling Pianos shows. You can see it in our volunteers, donors and patrons. The arts provide connection, conversation and pure joy. We need that more than ever.
Like leaving your house after the stay-at-home order, MCPA will need time to reacclimate to the new environment but we will reemerge. If living in Findlay has taught me anything it’s that this community will be there when we do.
Heather J. Clow
MCPA Executive Director
Thank you for your patience as we determine the future of upcoming performances and events at MCPA in light of COVID-19.
Below is a list of the current status of shows and public events through the end of May.
If the show you were attending is cancelled or you are unable to make the rescheduled date, you have several options:
- Donate the value of your tickets back to MCPA.
- Have your tickets refunded back to the credit card used for the original purchase or via check if paid with cash or check.
As a nonprofit arts organization, event cancellations have a great financial impact. If you are able, please consider donating the value of your tickets back to MCPA instead of being refunded.
- The Little Mermaid Jr. - March 13 & 14, 2020
- FAMILY SERIES: Llama Llama LIVE! - March 21, 2020
- The Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artists Shawn Klush and Cody Ray Slaughter - May 30, 2020
- The SpongeBob SquarePants Musical - June 8, 2020
- Findlay Light Opera Company's production of The Music Man - June 19-21, 2020
The following events have also been cancelled, but do not require any action at this time:
- Business to Business - March 24, 2020
- Community Conversations - March 31, 2020
- UF's Concert-Chorale and University Singers Concert - April 5, 2020
- Fresh Brewed Business - April 7, 2020
- Upper Room Church of God's Alive - April 9 & 10, 2020
- Business to Business - April 16, 2020
- UF's Improv Show - April 16-18, 2020
- UF's Orchestra Concert - April 19, 2020
- SPARK SERIES: The Pout-Pout Fish - April 23, 2020
- UF's Band Concert: Hymnal - April 26, 2020
- Fresh Brewed Business - May 5, 2020
- Summer Sips Wine Festival - June 27, 2020
- Boogie! 2020 - August 29, 2020
If you have tickets to a performance or performances below and you can attend on the rescheduled date(s), no action is required. Please keep your tickets and use them on the new date!
If you are NOT able to attend on the new date, please contact the Box Office to let us know how we should handle your order.
The following events have been rescheduled a second time:
- The Official Blues Brothers Revue - NEW DATE: February 19, 2021, 7:30PM
- The Texas Tenors - NEW DATE: March 31, 2021, 7:30PM
- [email protected]: Albert Cummings - NEW DATE: April 1, 2021, 7:30PM
- CommunityREAD with Lisa Wingate - NEW DATE: April 8, 2021, 7:30PM
- William Close & The Earth Harp Collective - NEW DATE: May 8, 2021, 7:30PM
- The Four Tops - NEW DATE: June 19, 2021, 7:30PM
Please keep in mind that due to high volumes, phone calls may be on hold for several minutes and it may take 2-3 business days to process your requests. Thank you in advance for your patience.
If you have any questions, please contact the Box Office at 419.423.2787 ext. 100 or send us an email at [email protected].
Box Office hours are currently Monday-Friday, Noon-4PM.
Please Note: The health and safety of our patrons is our main priority. MCPA will endeavor to comply with to state orders and CDC guidelines on social distancing, face coverings, and capacity. You acknowledge and agree that MCPA shall not be responsible for any illness to persons of your household or family, or yourself, and any corresponding damage, claim, or expense, of any kind, that you, your family members, or your household may experience or incur in connection with contracting COVID-19 as a result of visiting MCPA.