Rekindle Campaign | Northern Sky Theater

Hello, Northern Sky Fans.

We sure miss seeing you here at our bright little theater in the pines and at our beautiful new Gould Theater. We miss singing songs and sharing stories with you.

You, the heart and soul of Northern Sky, have stuck with us even as we’ve had to cancel our most ambitious season ever, moving instead to an all-virtual season. You’ve tuned in weekly for The Jeff & Katie Show, eagerly awaited special events like The Mancheski Playlist, and even come to say hello at our first-ever Lumberjack Car Wash. Fueled by your warmth and enthusiasm, we’ve been tending the Northern Sky hearth, keeping the home fires burning.

Our creative spark is as strong as ever. But any fire needs fuel.

Because we had to cancel our entire 2020 season, we lost our entire year of ticket sales income, which we had projected to be $1.4 million. We anticipate that 2021 will also be a compromised season. To rekindle the flames that will keep Northern Sky vibrant for years to come, we’re launching the Rekindle Campaign. We need to raise $1.75 million. With your help we can cover our losses for 2020, safeguard against further challenges in 2021, and keep creating the shows you love: live shows that we’ll present onstage as soon as we can, and virtual shows that will keep us connected in the meantime.

Thanks to your remarkable generosity, we are—as of mid-October—already about halfway to our goal. To get us the rest of the way there, we hope you’ll join us by supporting the Rekindle Campaign. With your support, we can fuel our future, keep the glow, and tend the hearth. We can’t wait to see you again.

And don’t forget to join us for our first event of the Rekindle Campaign, Home for the Holidays: Wherever You Are, on Saturday, December 12.

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Have you raised any money so far?

Yes! As of mid-October, we are about halfway to our goal. That’s thanks to you and your amazing generosity.

Why $1.75 million?

Our 2020 ticket income ($1.4 million projected) was wiped out by the pandemic. We are planning conservatively for 2021—we feel it’s only responsible to assume that the ongoing pandemic will continue to have a major impact on our finances throughout 2021. In short, $1.75 million is the amount of money that will ensure our financial solvency through to opening day 2022. For more specifics, please contact Holly Feldman.

What about next year? Will you be returning to in-person performances in 2021?

We sure hope so. Trust us, we’ll be back on the boards just as soon as circumstances allow. But frankly, it’s impossible to know when that will be. Our decision to return to in-person performances will be dependent not only on concern for the health of our company, patrons, and volunteers, but also on health restrictions from outside entities like Actors’ Equity Association and the Wisconsin DNR. All indications are that live performance will be one of the last things to return to full capacity post-pandemic.

Have you had to lay anyone off?

We had to cancel contracts for 63 company members in 2020—that’s more than $500,000 in lost wages to the company members you know and love. While we can’t replace that income, our virtual season did enable us to hire back some of those performers in different ways, and to compensate them for their work. To date, we’ve been able to keep all our year-round staff on payroll, and our board has announced its intention to maintain those staff in the months ahead. Your contribution to the Rekindle Campaign will enable that to happen, making it possible for us to keep working on the new shows you’ve come to expect from us. We are also determined to keep creating virtual content so we can stay connected to you until we can meet again in person. When that is possible, our ultimate goal, of course, is to employ a full company to bring you the live theater you’ve enjoyed at Northern Sky for decades.

What if things turn out better than you expect in 2021?

Wouldn’t that be wonderful?! We would employ the dozens of artists we couldn’t employ this year. We would program the shows you love and miss. Regardless of how the situation unfolds, we will be relentless in our efforts to bring you high-quality work as safely, as creatively, and as soon as possible.

Does any contribution I make toward Northern Sky count toward the Rekindle Campaign?
Can I still direct my gift toward the Fred Alley New Musical Fund or the Endowment Fund?

Yes! You can still direct your donation to specific funds, and any donation you make in 2020 and 2021 will count toward our $1.75 million Rekindle Campaign goal.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, who gets to keep the wood?

We doooon’t know.