Dec. 29, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez
The Secret Theatre has started another round of fundraising to help keep the Long Island City performance space afloat.
The GoFundMe campaign, created on Dec. 21, is looking to raise $20,000 to cover the costs of running the 99-seat theater at 44-02 23rd St. Richard Mazda, founder of the Secret Theatre, said the space is “in danger” of closing down for a variety of reasons.
“The Secret Theatre is in danger of shutting its doors due to the vicissitudes of the economy, fear about ongoing funding for the arts, and general 2017 malaise,” reads part of the fundraiser’s page. Mazda added that the theater could close down as soon as February if the fundraising goals aren’t met.
The first campaign for the theater, which celebrated 10 years in 2017, began in 2014. Mazda created the $10,000 Indiegogo campaign as a way to cover the costs of getting the correct permits in place for his theater. Mazda said at the time that the theater already makes slim profits from ticket sales, and did not budget for the fines related to occupancy permits.
The second campaign came about in late 2015, with a goal of raising $15,000 to save the theater from closing once more. Mazda noted that the increasing cost of rent in Long Island City has made running the theater much more difficult.
“With the increased costs we make less now than we did three years ago,” Mazda said.The campaign ran through January 2016, and raised over $10,300.
Now, the funds raised for this round will be used to pay for programming at the off-off-Broadway space. “If we are a successful the funds will be used to secure the immediate and mid-term future of The Secret,” reads part of the fundraising page.
The campaign has raised $1,515 as of Friday morning.
Thank you, Richard,& looking forward to the show! Hope all Post readers/commenters get there and/or support Secret Theatre – LOCAL theater-asap. The weather right now isnt helping, but will pass, like all hard seasons..Thanks for all the good work in the area all these years; may the best be yet to come( soon!).
Hey Everyone… it’s enough that the country is virtually experiencing a civil war in the political realm. Our struggle at the theatre shouldn’t be producing bad tempered exchanges.. that certainly won’t help us. I welcome all constructive ideas and for those of you that have left compliments here, thank you.
quuensmc, why not address the guy’s comments instead of dishing the insults? Do you not agree that there are many people in the neighborhood who embrace chain stores they are familiar with from their suburban hometowns rather than edgy, weird, typically offbeat NYC places? You don’t have to be a grouch to feel that way. I’m all in favor of seeing LIC thrive and improve, but not if it means we run out cool unusual places like the Secret Theatre in favor of bland corporate garbage you can find in any dull city across the US.
hahahha queens_mc. I’m actually a very happy, lic condo-owning, mom of a toddler. The difference between me and the folks I detailed in my initial comment is that I am not using LIC as a “great stepping stone before moving to the suburbs,” I believe in supporting (and paying to support) local businesses and culture, I think chains are what are destroying what makes nyc so wonderful, I remember that I am not only a mom, but still a woman (the gutter is great adults only fun when childcare allows!) . Not even going to attempt to profile YOU based on 2 measly comments on a local news site. Stay warm today!
My child(&I) have greatly enjoyed children’s plays at Secret Theater. The cast greeted everyone afterwards and were kind and fun. This was actually the first play my child ever saw, and would recommend Secret Theater to all. They also have a 10 minute play festival audiences can vote on,etc. All the best to them.
Thank you Astoria Mom! I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed the children’s shows. Among other aims a core philosophy of mine is that to teach drama to and to entertain and introduce children to theatre will enrich their lives and help them fill up their dreams.
We take a lot of pride in working with and performing to children, when times are hard it can be very sustaining. I would like to offer you free tickets to the next Princess or Pete show, please write to my office [email protected] and let them know.
call jimmy van bramer’s office maybe they can help you
I did still waiting to hear something from them
Maybe the Secret Theatre should not be a secret. I have lived in the neighborhood for 5 years and have 2 small children, yet have never been there nor has anyone invited us to join them. I have mentioned it to a few people who have never heard of it. I only know about it because I happen to walk past it. I work in advertising and I can tell you that these people fail to market themselves.
No offense intended but you are a little off with your comments. Firstly we do market ourselves utilizing a lot of social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Further we have a mailing list that we write to regularly. We print postcards and flyers on a regular basis. We list all our shows in multiple places, offer free tickets and support local schools when they run fundraisers and are regularly reviewed by the local papers and have been named one of the best 50 theatres in NY by Time Out. Why not actually come and see a show and see for yourself? Word of mouth is the best marketing tool perhaps you would enjoy the experience and change the minds of people who claim to not know about us? As to your comment about how people have never heard of it, I wonder what constructive ideas you might have? Incidentally we have regular children’s shows that are well attended. These shows are the longest running shows in Queens at 6 years and 5 years respectively. The next show is Jan 13th or A Charlie Brown Christmas is still running. Your children and perhaps you too would love it?
Thanks for a mature reply. I have been planning on coming to a show. I often sit on the concrete and brick planters in warm weather in front of your theatre. I think that you need to show people on Center Blvd. that you are here and that you put on good quality children’s shows. Why not have a couple of free, or cheap shows on the waterfront in Gantry Park? Maybe get a pizza truck to partner with you. Maybe you could do the same thing at Socrates. I know you have this great space downtown but people need to know that you are there and that you are putting on quality shows. The fact that LIC is an extremely transitional neighborhood does not help.
The theater company, which is in dire money trouble, should not have to give free performances to (mainly) extremely well-off cheapskates to prove itself. For crying out loud, I don’t even live in LIC anymore and I know about the Secret Theatre. If you want a vibrant and interesting neighborhood, you’ve got to nurture the arts in this city. Otherwise, all you get is chain stores and monotony.
ah, but don’t you see? that’s what the transient, CT -bound (eventually), transplants want. Free sh*t, chain stores (or at least a trader joes or two), and monotony. But monotony that is recognizable (see: chain stores), kid-friendly (see: mom’s boycott the gutter) and convenient (see: requests to modify the playground directly across the street from their glass tower, and none of the others in the neighborhood)
ah, nycnative. see: angry, immature, full of complaints narcissistic thinks being a lifelong New Yorker actually matters old timer who can’t afford his neighborhood anymore so he lashes out at everyone before he eventually is forced out only to disappear from the comments section on local news sites. Just leave already grouch.
It is called marketing. Business 101.