Cape Playhouse Raises $60K for General Operations

August 11, 2017 — The Cape Playhouse, a Dennis nonprofit that has been providing live theatrical performances for 90 years, announced that its recently held annual gala raised $60,000.

Funds raised from the second annual Summer Gala, held on the grounds of The Cape Playhouse, which attracted 160 people, will support general operations.

The organization did not disclose its fundraising or attendance goals, noting that this year's event generated "a small amount" toward its annual fundraising goal. Funds were raised through ticket sales and live and silent auctions.

Honored with the first The Cape Arts Award was Daniel Wolf, founder and CEO of Cape Air and a former state senator, who, in accepting the award, announced he was offering a $25,000 challenge grant to support the playhouse.

Last month, the Cape Cod Times reported that longtime supporters and other stakeholders expressed concern about insufficient preventive and other maintenance work, noting "a limited amount of money has actually been spent on the playhouse structures over the past decade."

According to Robert Uek, a playhouse trustee and the organization's treasurer, the playhouse charges $2-per-ticket restoration fee to care for the building.

The paper reported, "Various sources have estimated deferred maintenance alone on the Cape Playhouse structures to be several hundred thousand dollars to well over $1 million."

Three years ago, the playhouse repaired its air conditioning system, as well as the roof.

Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Cultural Council awarded a $30,000 grant to support development of a long-term master plan for sustainability and to assess immediate facility repairs and renovations, the Times reported.

To date, no capital campaigns have been undertaken to maintain or renovate the structure.

The Cape Playhouse structure was originally a 19th-century Unitarian Meeting House that was relocated to its current site in 1927; the seats today were former pews. Since then, the playhouse has gained a reputation for producing high quality, professional entertainment and has hosted many notable actors, including Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Gregory Peck, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, Shirley Booth, and Henry and Jane Fonda.

The Cape Playhouse is part of the Cape Cod Center of the Arts. For the year ending Dec. 31, 2015, the Cape Cod Center of the Arts reported $1.8 million in revenue, of which $292,000 came from contributions and grants, and $1.9 million in expenses, according to its most recently available federal tax filing.