Penumbra ends the year in the black

Lou Bellamy
Penumbra Theatre Artistic Director Lou Bellamy.
Photo by Ann Marsden

Despite the downturn in the economy, Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul is celebrating the end of the year on a financial high note.

The 32-year-old theater company completed its first successful major fundraising campaign this year, which raised more than $3 million in general operating support. This is also the fifth year in a row that Penumbra has ended the year with a balanced budget.

Board Chair Phyllis Goff says it's the result of a multi-year effort to cut costs dramatically.

"So that four-year restructuring plan was intended ... to eliminate that debt -- $600,000 in long-term debt -- and then put us in a place where we could in essence live within our means," said Goff.

Goff says with the completion of the fundraising campaign, Penumbra is now working to rebuild itself into a robust and sustainable organization.

Some of the funds from the recent campaign will support the production of the complete August Wilson 20th century cycle, which continues in May 2009 with Wilson's play, "Radio Golf."

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