Woke Theatre Organizations Facing Financial Catastrophe as Audiences Flee, Donations Plunge

(L-R) RuPaul's Drag Race Season 15 stars Jax, Luxx Noir London, Robin Fierce, Amethyst and
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Major performing arts groups around the country are facing unprecedented financial crises that have led to layoffs and cancellations of entire seasons as their once-loyal audiences flee in droves and donations dry up.

Almost all of these organizations embraced wokeness and placed far-left political activism at the center of their artistic output and public messaging, alienating large portions of their faithful customer base in the process. Many also embraced harsh COVID restrictions, including mask and vaccine mandates.

Among the non-profit organizations going through financial turmoil are The Public Theater in New York, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago.

Even New York’s mighty Metropolitan Opera is in trouble, with its supporting guild announcing this week that it is shutting down after nearly a century of operation.

Angelica Ross during a photocall for her Broadway debut as "Roxie Hart" in the hit musical "Chicago" at The CIVILIAN Hotel on August 24, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

Transgender actor Angelica Ross during a photocall for his Broadway debut as “Roxie Hart” in the hit musical “Chicago” August 24, 2022 in New York City. (Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

The widespread carnage has garnered national attention, leading to finger pointing among the country’s cultural elite. Some theater leaders continue to blame COVID for their problems, saying that many theatergoers are still too scared to return or have lost the habit of live performance.

But their reasoning is falling flat as commercial Broadway has bounced back to pre-pandemic audience levels, while non-profit stages keep struggling.

As Breitbart News reported, New York’s Public Theater recently laid off close to 20 percent of its staff and is drastically cutting back on its programming. In 2017, the theater infamously staged the gruesome stabbing death of President Donald Trump in its production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Artistic director Oskar Eustis, who directed the Trump assassination production, said the theater’s attendance has cratered by 30 percent while the theater’s costs have skyrocketed by as much as 45 percent.

Breitbart News also reported on the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s numerous problems following the woke tenure of former artistic director Nataki Garrett.

Longtime time ticket holders and other insiders with knowledge of the situation exclusively told Breitbart News that Garrett’s woke sermonizing and aggressive focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion alienated large swaths of the festival’s faithful audience as well as many of its small donors whose contributions collectively helped keep the organization afloat.

As a result, the festival initiated an emergency fundraising campaign in order to avert a shut down.

L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum recently announced it has canceled its entire upcoming season due to what leaders described as  a “crisis unlike any other in our 56-year history.” The theater’s last production was the poorly received transgender musical Transparent, based on the Amazon comedy series.

Center Theatre Group, which runs the Taper, is eliminating about 10 percent of its full-time staff due to the crisis. The company publicly declared its wokeness at the height of the 2020 Black Lives Matter riots.

Newly installed CTG artistic director Snehal Desai recently hinted that audiences can look forward to even more wokeness in the future.

When asked by the L.A. Times if he thought programming has been too focused on identity politics, he replied, “What would you like us to do, politically incorrect work? What is the counter that you’re offering? All work is political.”

Follow David Ng on Twitter @HeyItsDavidNg. Have a tip? Contact me at dng@breitbart.com


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