With greater funding challenges facing all arts organisations we, with the co-operation of TRAC (Theatre Royal Applause Club), will bring the Theatre’s membership schemes in house from December this year.
The Theatre currently offers a Mailing Club and Friends memberships alongside a membership scheme operated by TRAC. In December, we will offer a whole range of membership opportunities enabling its supporters to continue to play a part in the future success and survival of the Theatre.
TRAC, which is a separate charity from the Theatre Royal Plymouth, was established back in 1982 with its main objective being to support the Theatre. This has resulted in some £450,000 donated to the Theatre to support a number of projects. In recent years this has included sponsoring School Ties, Shakespeare Slalom, a number of Young Company productions, a donation of £1,000 towards a caption screen for The Drum and donations of £110,000 towards the our Production and Learning Centre, £100,000 towards the refurbishment of The Lyric auditorium and £125,000 towards the Regeneration Project.
Adrian Vinken OBE, Chief Executive of the Theatre Royal Plymouth said: “I’d like to thank all TRAC members for the support and commitment they have given Theatre Royal Plymouth. They have been there when we most needed them and, being amongst our most loyal patrons and advocates, have contributed enormously to the success of the Theatre. TRAC has a remarkable legacy stretching back more than 30 years and it is hard either to do justice to its achievements or adequately express the gratitude we feel for them.”
Marianne Locatori, Marketing and Communications Director of the Theatre Royal Plymouth added: “Continuing cuts in regular funding make it imperative that Theatre Royal Plymouth takes control of its total membership structure to maximise revenue from these sources. The current trend in public sector funding is that strategic funds are made available for specific projects, but that regular revenue funding is not – so this is where the most immediate need is. By bringing our memberships in house we can demonstrate to funders that we have full access to this important element of our business. We will have more direct access to our members and will be able to offer much more flexible benefits to them in the future.”
Jeanette Nicholls, TRAC Chairman said: “TRAC has had a wonderful relationship with the Theatre Royal Plymouth and the members have always been so supportive of the theatre and all it does. We have been able to fund significant projects and alongside that have personally welcomed visiting companies with baskets of fruit, welcome letters and drinks receptions. It is sad to see the end of TRAC come December, but we will still be avid supporters of the theatre either as members of their new membership scheme or as audience members. I would like to thank all the members and Trustees since 1982 who have made TRAC one of the biggest, if not the biggest, supporters’ group in the country. It has been a pleasure to have been part of it!”
TRAC members are currently being contacted about the membership changes, which will take effect from December, and encouraged to continue supporting the Theatre. Full details of the new membership schemes will be announced later this year.