Finances, attendance force Riverside theater play cuts

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The Riverside Community Players productions categorized as “family plays” will be cut back this year.

Bringing lighthearted entertainment to the local community, The Riverside Community Players are celebrating their 93rd season of theater productions but are facing a tough choice of production cutbacks as a result of financial strain.

The productions attract all types of audiences ranging from couples to families and the elderly. However, some plays are more suitable for a family audience, labeling them as
“family plays.”

The cut back of “family plays” does not necessarily mean that RCP is not family oriented, but they are cutting back their complete productions from three to two
“family plays.”

Kathryn Gage, president of RCP, said the plays were not bringing back enough results to warrant continuing them.

“The family plays were simply not well-attended,” Gage said. “We have been losing money by having them.”

The family plays cost $9 meaning they are generate less funding than a general running play that ranges from $12 to $15.

RCP relies on the funds that come in from the plays because they are a non-profit  organization.

However, not all the family plays are losing money.

Brittany Severi, junior
theater major, and costume
designer for RCP, said quite a few family plays have been

“‘Charlotte’s Web’ went well for us and ‘Christmas Carol’ was very popular,” Severi said.

Unfortunately, the popular family plays did not substantiate keeping all three plays this year because the monetary profit was not enough for
the company.

“There is a limit to the money loss,” Gage said.

The cutback of the family series make it harder for actors and actresses to find work.

“There is still plenty of work for actors in the Inland Empire,” Severi said, “But (there is) not a huge amount of children’s theatre in particular. It’ll just make it a bit more difficult for actors who particularly want to
do children’s theater.”

Cutting back the “family plays” series may require some actors to look for
more jobs.

The lack of advertisement is also a factor. This not only goes for the family series but the main series as well.

“They were a little slow publicizing their shows on social media, but they do that on the main series too,”
Severi said.

Currently they publish
information about each of their shows including the main series of productions, the family series productions and any other organizational news or upcoming events on their company Facebook page.

Tickets can be bought  online and at the box office.

Upcoming in the family series is “Beauty and the Beast,’”  Feb. 23-25 for $9.

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