North Shore Music Theatre Announces Creation of Encore Fund

The Board of Trustees of North Shore Music Theatre has announced the creation of the Encore Fund ‘ Building for the Future. The Fund’s goal is to secure $7 million in gifts and pledges by the end of this year. ‘This amount is needed to ensure the Theatre can keep its doors open during the next six months and to keep our talented staff intact so that we continue to provide important programming for our community and our schools,’ says Jon Kimbell, Artistic Director and Executive Producer.

The accidental fire that struck North Shore Music Theatre on July 14th effectively destroyed the theater’s stage, orchestra pit, lighting and sound equipment and interior, including all 1,800 seats. ‘The realities and cost to ensure that ‘the show will go on’ far exceed the insurance coverage,’ states Kimbell.

Kevin Bottomley, President of Danvers Savings Bank and the Theatre’s Chairman shared that ‘the staff, Board, and volunteers at North Shore Music Theatre have been truly heartened by the outpouring of goodwill, optimism and support from the theater world, government officials and individuals from around the country and, especially, from our neighbors and friends all over the Boston area. It is clear that NSMT is more than just a theater. We are part of the tapestry of our community, our region and our art-form.’

The Trustees of the Theatre are stepping up to this unexpected challenge and are completing a drive to secure $2 million from Trustees in support of the new Encore Fund. The Trustees are presenting this $2 million challenge to the Theatre’s supporters to demonstrate the importance of reaching the $7 million goal. Leadership for the Encore Fund effort is being provided by David Fellows, Chief Technology Officer for Comcast, and Jack Good, Executive Vice President of Beverly National Bank.

The Encore Fund will be used to address lost revenue from Cinderella, the Children’s Summer Musical Series, and cancelled concerts. ‘More could be lost because of mounting costs to produce Abyssinia and Camelot at The Shubert Theater in Boston this fall and with the possibility that our patrons may not travel into the city for these performances in sufficient numbers.’ says Julie Arvedon NSMT’s spokesperson. ‘It is our hope that all of our subscribers and lovers of great musical theater will attend!’

In addition, the Encore Fund will help with the extensive rebuilding that must take place so productions can return to the NSMT stage as quickly as possible. The entire interior of the theater, including seats, stage lifts, ceiling panels and insulation, must be replaced. An important part of rebuilding the theater and replacing equipment is the need to accommodate new state and federal building codes, including Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

‘The prevailing sense of optimism and leadership provided by our Trustees and very special patrons, will see us through to recovery,’ believes Kimbell. ‘North Shore Music Theatre is determined to emerge from this fire with a renewed sense of dedication to our audience, to our community, and to the future of American musical theater.’

Contributions to The Encore Fund can be made through or via mail to NSMT, 62 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915.

Operating since 1955, NSMT has evolved into the largest non-profit producing theater in New England, with approximately 400,000 patrons annually. NSMT has gained a national and regional reputation for artistic achievement, specifically in the areas of developing new works and providing outstanding theater arts and education programs. NSMT has received numerous industry awards including The Elliot Norton Award, The Rosetta Le Noire Award from Actors’ Equity, and The Moss Hart Award. NSMT annually produces a six musical subscription series, a production of A Christmas Carol and an acclaimed concert series. With its celebrated Theatre for Young Audiences program, a school touring program, and year-round classes for children, NSMT has become one of the region’s leading providers of theater arts and education.