You Are Why We Tell The Story ANNUAL REPORT 2021
WHO WE ARE We are SpeakEasy Stage - driving Boston theatre forward and sparking dialogue with courageous, contemporary productions made by and for our community. We are Boston’s Home for the Bold.
OUR MISSION SpeakEasy Stage Company produces intimate, entertaining plays and musicals that are new to Boston and compel thoughtful conversation. We champion new talent and future arts leaders, alongside a diverse community of experienced local theatre professionals who share our devotion to excellence. We treat our artists, audiences, and supporters as collaborators, working with us to make Boston a city that is sustainable for artists.
FROM THE PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Dear Friends and Supporters, I am pleased to present to you our Annual Report for Season 30, which covers the period from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021. I think it was hard for all of us to imagine a year without live theatre. What does a theatre company do when we are not preparing for the next performance? Well, I can tell you that for SpeakEasy, there was plenty, and we made excellent use of this time of intermission. First and foremost, we figured out how to keep having conversations with our audience about important and timely topics. Though this 30th anniversary season became a digital one, we continued telling emotional stories, having courageous conversations, and celebrating our history of producing bold theatre with a series of inspiring virtual plays and concerts. Second, we specifically focused inward – rebranding, building a new website, investing in equity and anti-racism projects, and intentionally planning for future growth. We are in a stronger position now than we have ever been as a company, and I am incredibly proud of our small, but mighty
staff for their hard work under difficult circumstances. I am also deeply appreciative of our diligent board for their support, guidance, and unbridled commitment to SpeakEasy. As I reflect on these last 30 seasons, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the generosity and loyalty of our community. The accomplishments within this year of intermission were only possible because of YOUR participation. You kept us going through these difficult times, and we cannot thank you enough for your unwavering belief in our mission. I look forward to seeing you again in person soon - back at the theater! With gratitude,
Paul Daigneault Producing Artistic Director Photo by Nile Scott Studios.
OUR VIRTUAL SEASON THE PINK UNICORN by ELISE FORIER EDIE
directed by M.
March 5-18, 2021
TJ LOVES SALLY 4 EVER
In the Spring of 2021, we put together a season of virtual productions so that we could continue having bold conversations with our audiences. Operating under the strictest of safety protocols, we filmed three productions (in an actor’s kitchen, in the theater, and throughout the city of Boston) and streamed them to our audience members to view in the comfort of their own homes. Reactions to the pieces were overwhelmingly positive, with patrons eager to engage and experience theatre in whatever form was available to them.
“TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever crackles with freshness. It’s a hilarious, biting and sobering distillation of where society stands today. Here, humor is used to its best possible effect as we follow the short thread from the original TJ and Sally to their modern counterparts.” - Jared Bowen, GBH
by JAMES IJAMES
directed by PASCALE
April 30 - May 13, 2021
PROJECT RESILIENCE from THE BOSTON PROJECT
SIX TEN-MINUTE PLAYS BY SIX BOSTON PLAYWRIGHTS
June 18-30, 2021 4
We selected pieces that explored particularly topical themes for today’s audiences: gender identity and acceptance in The Pink Unicorn by Elise Forier Edie; racial power imbalances and the deep systemic history of white supremacy in TJ Loves Sally 4 Ever by James Ijames; and the resilience of the city of Boston through the brand new collection of commissioned short plays, The Boston Project: Project Resilience. To further the impact of these works, we also offered virtual panels with community experts and specially curated, thematic series of our Play Discussion Club.
BOSTON PROJECT PODCAST
PLAY DISCUSSION CLUB
To maintain our new play development program, The Boston Project, we adapted The Usual Unusual by MJ Halberstadt into an episodic audio play. The play, about the last gay bookstore in Boston and the generational gaps between LGBTQ+ populations, particularly lent itself to the format. The seven-episode podcast, which has had international listenership, is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and everywhere else podcasts are available.
To connect with our audiences on a deeper level, we created a weekly Play Discussion Club. Plays were presented in 4-5 week series and selected thematically — including plays written by queer, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander, Black, and/ or transgender playwrights. Over 15 months, we read 35 plays, engaged with over 300 participants, and had several of the playwrights join us, including Tony Award winner Jeanine Tesori, Martyna Majok, Ty DeFoe, Jocelyn Bioh, Luis Alfaro, and more.
SPEAKEASY UNIVERSITY To continue our focus on developing future arts leaders, we created this professional development series. The entire staff, in collaboration with dozens of industry professionals, developed 75-minute seminars on aspects of running a theatre company — including season selection, marketing, community engagement, production, development, and more. Not only did dozens of students participate, but “lifelong learners” joined to learn more about the process.
“As the pandemic wore on, I mourned all the tickets I had for theatre and other events. And then there was SpeakEasy with the Play Discussion Club! I couldn’t believe how much I felt like I’d been to a play after participating. And the themes were brilliant. Thank you, SpeakEasy, for making the last nine theatre-less months more tolerable.” - Karen Bass 5
Celebrating 30 Seasons of Groundbreaking Theatre A Virtual Anniversary Concert to Benefit SpeakEasy Stage Company
November 19-23, 2020 Directed by Paul Daigneault Music Directed by Paul S. Katz Produced & Written by Alex Lonati ● Over $100,000 raised from 468 donors ● 755 unique viewers with over 3,000 views ● 35 artists from 29 seasons recorded performances in their homes ● 20 songs from 19 musicals ● Closing song, “Why We Tell The Story” from Once On This Island, performed with 40 artists from around the country
“We loved the songs, the singers, and their engaging personalities. The joyous finale with all the voices underscored how much we miss live theater and its many talented performers, particularly those in the SpeakEasy family.” - Joseph-Roque Dion & David Bruce Wright 6
Jason Robert Brown’s Songs For A New World A Special Performance to Benefit SpeakEasy Stage Company
May 26 - June 8, 2021 Directed by Paul Daigneault Music Directed by José Delgado Video Production Design by Wesley Verge ● Over $80,000 raised from 246 donors ● 449 households watched the performance online ● 175 people attended premiere at Kowloon Restaraunt’s drive-in theater ● 10 artists recorded live in the Calderwood Pavilion in 32 hours ● Songs for a New World was first performed in SpeakEasy’s 10th season
“I actually got choked up when people applauded after the first song – it felt so strange and good to be in the midst of that again. The performers were fantastic. I will look for you at the theater because as of last weekend, I am a new subscriber!” - Anne Coletti 7
INSTITUTIONAL DONORS $50,000+
Barr-Klarman Massachusetts Arts Initiative Boston Center for the Arts*
$25,000-49,999 The Shubert Foundation
$10,000-24,999 Bank of America Mass Cultural Council
Boston Cultural Council Bove & Langa, P.C. Office of MassHousing City of Boston, Mayor’s Office of Arts & Culture George & Alice Rich Charitable Foundation
Berkshire Bank Boston Veterinary Clinic Google Matching Gifts O’Brien Wealth Partners
Barbershop Deluxe Cathy Marotta, Sotheby’s Real Estate Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation John Snow, Inc. Roberta Orlandino, Coldwell Banker Seligman Dental Designs St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Wellington Management Wilson Butler Architects
$500-$999 Liberty Mutual - Give With Liberty Loomis, Sayles & Company, L.P. *in-kind donor
EQUITY AND ANTI-RACISM AT SPEAKEASY On stage and throughout our programming, we tell stories that invite us to understand ourselves and the world around us more thoroughly; to uplift the voices of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, economic statuses, and abilities; and envision the changes we wish to see in our society. As storytellers, we must engage honestly and deeply in these conversations about our humanity. During this year of intermission, we embarked on an intentional and comprehensive journey toward becoming a more fully anti-racist organization. Understanding that this is an ongoing and long-term commitment, we developed a comprehensive Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan and began immediately implementing some of its initiatives. The plan includes a commitment to the following four principles: ● We affirm our commitment to ensure that the stories we tell and all the work we produce reflect the multitude of identities, viewpoints, and experiences of our shared world. ● We will engage a broad spectrum of perspectives and voices throughout our organization and ensure that those who have been traditionally silenced are encouraged and supported to actively participate at every level. ● We will more effectively reach out to and welcome communities that have been traditionally underrepresented in our theater, especially BIPOC individuals and people with disabilities. ● We will use the power of our platform responsibly and actively to combat systemic racism and advance social justice. To read the entire commitment statement and action plan, visit www.speakeasystage.com/searap.
OUR LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT SpeakEasy Stage Company and the Calderwood Pavilion reside on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Massachusett people. We acknowledge the truth of violence perpetrated in the name of this country and commit to uplifting the voices of those who have historically been left out of the conversation. We encourage you to learn more about the Massachusett people, their history and their living traditions at www.massachusetttribe.org.
FROM THE CHAIR OF THE BOARD Dear Friends and Supporters, We are proud to present the financial results and program achievements of SpeakEasy’s “intermission” year. In July 2020, it was hard to imagine how the company would manage a year without live theatre; but we did it – thanks to our incredibly supportive community. We are endlessly grateful to the thousands of individuals who responded so enthusiastically to our virtual season, community programs, concert fundraisers, Intermission Fund appeal, and a matching gift generously offered by Nancy and Edward Roberts. We greatly appreciate the support from foundations, government organizations, and corporate sponsors that generously renewed or expanded their grants. Combined with the forgiveness of a loan given through the CARES Act (Paycheck Protection Program), modest earned revenue from virtual programming, and the judicious management of expenses, we achieved a positive change in net assets in a very difficult time. Thank you all for your participation and encouragement – you made this achievement possible! We continue to work on our long-term financial strategy and capitalization plans so that we can expand artistic
innovation and community engagement activities as we grow. We will have more on that in the year to come. Thank you again for your unwavering belief in our mission. In the words of Lynn Ahrens, lyricist for Once on This Island – the musical that was chosen to celebrate our 30th season and which you can see in 2022, YOU are why we tell the story. Sincerely yours,
Alex Baker Chair, SpeakEasy Board of Directors
Andrew Fullem Vice Chair, SpeakEasy Board of Directors
Note: Andrew Fullem (right) became Chair of SpeakEasy’s board on June 7, 2021. Alex Baker (left) retired his position as Chair after 8 years,but continues to remain an active member of the Board.
Statement of Activities EARNED REVENUE Subscription Single Tickets Other Total Earned Revenue
$ 12,442 $ 21,139 $ 687 $ 34,268
EXPENSES Programs General & Administrative Fundraising Forgiveness of PPP Loan
$ 470,704 $ 300,325 $ 217,261 ($ 190,700)
Operating Deficit Before Contributions and Fundraising CONTRIBUTIONS AND FUNDRAISING Individual Giving Foundations & Business Special Events Total Contributed Revenue CHANGE IN NET ASSETS
$ 393,007 $ 263,626 $ 186,331 $ 842,964 $ 79,642
Statement Of Financial Position ASSETS Current Assets Fixed Assets Other Assets Total Assets
$ 836,273 $ 5,217 $ 19,695 $ 861,185
LIABILITIES & NET ASSETS Current Liabilities Net Assets - Unrestricted Total Liabilities & Net Assets
$ 224,034 $ 637,151 $ 861,185 Fiscal year: July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 Preliminary Statements as of 11/1/21
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! PRODUCERS CIRCLE $25,000+ Nancy and Edward Roberts
$10,000-19,999 Alex Baker & Butch Chilton The Gregory E. Bulger Foundation/ Gregory Bulger & Richard Dix Nick Scandalios Keith MacDonald & Tom Webber Paul & Jennifer Walsh Sam Yin Anonymous
$5,000-9,999 Stacey & Chris Constas Carol G. Deane Kerry Dowling Jonathan Dyer & Thomas Foran Lucia & Bruce Field Andrew Fullem David S. Godkin & Pamela Haran David Halstead Peter Hornstra Susan & Mark Irvings Terence Janericco Paul Kastner Joan Nunes Peter & Christine Palladino Erik & Ranesh Ramanathan Dana & Daniel Wolf Julianne Yazbek & JD Paul
$2,500-$4,999 Bob Band Rick Bankhead & Kemper Thompson Susan Black & Richard O’Neal
Catherine & Harvey Cotton Anne d’Avenas Mary E. Darmstaetter Richard Davies & Alexander Albregts Danné Davis Betty Goldstein Garth & Lindsay Greimann Wendy Bailey Hamilton Ken Hirschkind Melissa Langa & Jeff Wulfson Jeanne Leszczynski & Diane Dicarlo Bill & Barbara Melone Network for Good† Faith & Glenn Parker* Bob & Jackie Pascucci Joey Riddle & Paul Miller Dawn & Doug Saglio Robert & Raeanne Sarazen Alejandro Simoes Ann B. Teixeira Hal Tepfer, Stacie Simon & the Puppies Carl & Sharon Turissini Hannah Weisman & Mike Peluse Clea & Neal Winneg
$1,000-2,499 Michael Appell & Guy Ronen Linda Aronson in Honor of Steven Aronson The Honorable Governor Charlie & Lauren Baker Clara & James Batchelor Gene Bauer & Ellen Shortell Jon & Dixie Lee Borus Gary Buseck
Don & Susan Casey Joe Castellana & Jim Seligman Pat & Mary Cogan Paul Daigneault & Jeffrey Mello Ellen Davis & John Sullivan Sarah Delaney Dana Dilworth & Joseph O’Donnell Deborah Doktor & Marc Fisher Jeff & Erica Drazen Willis Emmons & Zach Durant-Emmons Peter & Kathy Feinmann FJN Charitable Foundation Tom Formicola & Lenny Goldstein John S. Foster Temple V. Gill & Christopher R. Yens Meegan Gliner Curly Glynn Cindy & Roger Goldstein Rev. Gretchen Grimshaw & Thalia Meehan Barbara & Steve Grossman Jay Hanflig & Donna Sinden Mark Hickey & Jack Cornwell Joy Howard & The Rev. Pamela Werntz Bill Kelly Edgar Knudson Eric Levenson* Nathan Levenson Roberta & Geoffrey Levy Lois Lindauer & Bill Seltz Marianne Lonati Mark & Mary Lunsford Malcolm MacDonald in Honor of Keith MacDonald & Tom Webber
Stuart & Yvonne Madnick Alyson Magliozzi Benjamin Manthei Esther Messing Betsy Munzer Ann Noble & Valerie Grande Thomas Norris Bob Oldshue & Nina Calabresi Derek Osterman & Erik Johnson Ross Ozer & Scott Gortikov Grace Parker Richard Parritz Ellen & Lou Piccioli Susan & Stephen Root Bruce G. Posner & Betsy Rudnick Leah Rugen & Andy Boral Kenneth & Rise Shepsle Robert Siefert & Maureen Shea-Siefert Gerald Slavet Somerled Charitable/Macdonald CGF Jim Stiles & Randy Bird Richard G. Summers & Bill Thompson Karen Suyemoto Donna & Steve Tritman Jean Walsh & Graham Davies Jerry Wheelock Angela Yarde Jim Young Anonymous (3)
FRIENDS CIRCLE $500-999 James Alexander
Robert & Helen Alkon George Andreadis Diane M. Austin & Aaron J. Nurick Jeannine Ayotte Charles Baker, Sr. Kathy & Marshall Berenson Vijay Bettada Kevin Bleyle Edward Boesel Drs. Paul Boutin & Rich Gurney Jim Bracciale & Richard Kestler Amy Brodesky Carol Carroll Sandra & Arnold Chase Kristine Clerkin & Catherine Hay Christine Coakley Ellen Colton Richard & Beth Compson David Crowley & Fran Pelletier Jon & Kim Davis The Daughters Fund Jim deVeer Richard & Paula Dobrow Glenn Edelson Robert Eyre The Fife Family Foundation Mark Finklestein Foley Fiore Architecture Hilary Forbes Suzanne Greenberg Shelly F. Greenfield & Allan M. Brandt Grace & Bill Gregor Laura Haas & Richard Wood Mark & Cynthia Haddad J. William Harris & Terry Rockefeller Kevin Hemenger
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT! Roz & Herb Hill Amy & Simon Horsburgh Ilene & Richard Jacobs Frederic S. Johnson Peggy Johnson Emily A. Karstetter Kate & Steve Kelley Marion Kuntz* Lynda Leahy William & Anastasia Lyman Cathy Marotta Mary E. O’Connor Catherine Phillips Suzanne Priebatsch Wendy & Robert Reasenberg Sharon & Howard Rich Larry Rosenberg Roland W. Roy Timothy J. Rupert Pito & Chris Salas Brian Sands Dick & Dorothy Santos Mark Saperstein & Eric Karnowski Chuck Schwager & Jan Durgin Bradley Seeman Andrea Shirley & Joyce Richmond Benjamin & Jane Siegel Artan Simeqi Ellen L. Simons Mark Smith & John O`Keefe Mark Staloff & Greg Bowne Jill Stauffer & Cyd Berry Martha Stearns Crystal Tiala Catherine Cote Tomey & David Tomey
Patrick Turner Donald Vaughan & Lee Ridgway Brian Wagner Gregory Ward & Charles Murphy Robert Wilson & Sergio Mazon Maureen Brown Yoder Paula & Simon Young Andrew Zucker
$250-499 Julie Arvedon Knowlton & Scott Knowlton Steve Avruch & Ed MacLean Kelly Aylward & Scott Ford Frank & Jane Bachner Julie & Michael Bailit Judith Barr Kathleen Beckman & Theodore Postol Bender Hatch Insurance Paul Blackborow & Jessica Daniels Ben & Josette Blake Melanie Blower Daniel Borges Don & Melinda Boroson Ken Brooks & Jim Ellis Bernice Buresh Laura Carney & Andy Clarkson Bob Chabot & Glen Doerr Lee Chelminiak & Doug Herberich John Cini & Star Lancaster David Freeman Coleman Jan Connery Susan & Bill Cotter Stephen Cotton & Rebecca Backman Will Crumbley
David Cucinotta & Jim Cove David Dalena & Brian Patton Kim Damokosh Andrea Dine & Jeffrey Wildstein Joseph-Roque Dion & David Bruce Wright Terry Dolan Ed Dusek & Paul Kelly Ashley Eaton & Douglas Talhelm Ken & Claire Edmondson Anne-Marie Enderby Maggi Farrell Harry Fatkin Michael Flier & David Trueblood David Foley Steven & Jessie Foster Arlene Franklin & Ray Jacques Jim Freiman & Josh Peary Joseph Frusciante Bill Furmanski Galejs Warren Family Fund Jennifer Harris & David Condon Rob Harris Nile S. Hawver & Maggie Hall Peter Haydu Chris Herring Ellen M. Hilly Megan & Chris Holding Chobee Hoy Dennis Humphrey Cathi Ianno Corey & Sarah Jackson Cynthia Kagno & David Wittenberg Alfred Kaplan & Ruth Sherman David & Harriet Kaufman Thomas H. Kean
Paul & Sue Kilrain Stephen Knowlton & Joseph Pettigrew Pam LaRue Kate Leavey Howard & Gareth Levy Peter Loewinthan David Lucey Monica Luke Mark & Kate McKone-Sweet Lindsay McNair Peg Merzbacher Ellen & Jonathan Miller* Helaine Miller Joseph Misdraji Lynne & Richard Montross Pam Noble Jackie Norton Thomas Novak Jeff O. Jill Pearson & Dan Ramirez Karen Perlow Maureen & Stephen Pike The PlayMates Marion & David Pollock Barbara & Frank Resnek Lee Ridgway & Donald Vaughan Glenn Rizzo & Paul Simpson Liz Ross & Bill O’Reilly Debbie & Eric Ruder Henry Servinskas & Roy Du Bois Mark Shura & Dan Harvey Peter Simkin Douglas & Karen Skillins Starr-Coggeshall Household
Jim Torres & Bryce Avery, in Memory of Dottie Winer Bob & Nancy Tucker Andrea & Arthur Waldstein Davin & David Wedel Kerry Weiss-Pena & Gustavo Pena Emily & Jon Welch Christine & Richard Wellman Frances & Richard Winneg Anonymous (3) *Contributors to the Thomas Derrah Emerging Artists Fund
†Gifts made through Facebook to the Thomas Derrah Emerging Artists Fund This list recognizes donors with gifts of $250+ to our Annual Fund and Sponsorship program from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021.
SPEAKEASY LEADERSHIP Board of Directors Michael Appell Alex Baker, Chair Cathy Cotton Paul Daigneault, President
Richard Davies Danné Davis Kerry Dowling Jonathan Dyer
Andrew Fullem, Vice Chair Susan Irvings Melissa Langa Peter Palladino, Treasurer
Joey Riddle Nancy Roberts Alejandro Simoes Jim Stiles
Ben Manthei Jeffrey Mello Roberta Orlandino Grace Parker Robert Pascucci Ellen Piccioli Ken and Rise Shepsle Hal Tepfer Sandra “Sandy” Weinstein Hannah Weisman
Neal Winneg Angela Yarde Julianne Yazbek
Board of Advisors Michael Appell, Chair Robert Band Gene M. Bauer & Ellen Shortell Susan Black Brian Bourquin & Paul Mataras Gregory Bulger & Richard Dix A. Joseph Castellana & Jim Seligman David Freeman Coleman Stacey & Chris Constas
Anne d’Avenas Tom Formicola & Lenny Goldstein Joe Gimbel & Jo Strobel Meegan Gliner Andrew “Curly” Glynn Laura Haas Robby Levy Keith MacDonald & Tom Webber
SpeakEasy Staff Paul Daigneault, Producing Artistic Director Paul Melone, General & Production Manager Jim Torres, Director of Marketing & Communications Cathi Ianno, Director of Development Dominique Burford, Associate Manager of Production & Operations Alex Lonati, Community Programs & Events Manager Evan Turissini, Creative Services & Social Media Manager Frankie Concepcion, Development Coordinator Dwayne P. Mitchell, Artistic Fellow Interns: Santiago Arenas, Madison Brooks, Christian Harvey, Max Eliot, Nathan Marble, Lindsey Walko
Thank you to everyone who supported SpeakEasy through a year and a half of intermission. Welcome back to the theater!
Ann Teixeira, Clerk Clea Winneg