The problems began early this year, when a promised $100,000 state grant for the Reagle Players was slashed to $25,000 by budget cuts. Other donations and private grants also fell in the wake of the credit crisis. And while ticket sales for last season were up, receipts were down due to lowered prices.Along with a flood of donations from the community, another initiative is starting to turn things around:
By the end of the summer, Reagle, which has a $1.7 million annual budget, was carrying $100,000 in new debt, as well as a $150,000 long-term loan.
Another good sign can be seen in the big red paper thermometer that hangs in the troupe’s Lexington Street offices, where it tracks ticket sales for Reagle’s annual holiday spectacular, “It’s Christmas Time,’’ which opens Friday in Waltham High School’s Robinson Theatre. The mercury is on the rise.
A push is on to fill every seat at all 10 shows - 10,820 tickets in all. Area businesses, including IKON Office Solutions, Johnson Compounding and Wellness Center, and Waltham Services Inc., are aiding the effort by offering discount tickets to employees. With more than a week to go before opening night, more than 7,000 tickets had been sold, and the goal was inching into reach.