Back in September, we told you that Ampersand Theater Company would finally be moving into a place of its own following a largely-nomadic existence that found the improv troupe (formerly known as Mojo Dojo) performing at bars, community centers, radio stations, hotels, barns, and even a few outdoor venues over the course of its first four years in business.
Since announcing the move to the former location of In Tandem’s Tenth Street Theater, located at 628 N. 10th Street in the lower level of Calvary Presbyterian Church, Ampersand’s staff has been working hard to spruce up the property, build a new stage, and make necessary renovations to re-open as an 80-capacity theater with an adjoining classroom space to use for workshops. While they’ve made a lot of progress in a fairly short span of time, there’s still a lot to be done—and a lot of affiliated costs that need to be covered—before Ampersand Theater Company can open its new and improved site in January. Facing rising costs, the up-and-coming theater company asked for help from the public to make their dream a reality.
Last week, Ampersand Theater Company started an IndieGoGo campaign called “Help Build the Ampersand Theater,” which is aiming to raise a total of $30,000 by December 1. Per the crowdfunding page:
In August, we signed a lease for the former Tenth Street Theater space, located in the lower level of Calvary Presbyterian Church in Downtown Milwaukee. We are honored to continue a tradition of performance in this historic, 150-year-old space, but in order to get it up and running, we need to build out a full stage, audience seating, tech booth, and bar.
Our plan was to continue performing shows during renovations, but due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to leave our regular performance space in September, and have only been able to schedule sporadic shows since.
Not having regular performances means we’ve had to tap into reserve funds earmarked for construction to help cover regular operating expenses like rent, utilities, and insurance, not to mention the additional startup costs of licensing, A/V supplements, and physical bar stock.
In exchange for their support, Ampersand is offering backers an abundance of rewards that range from Ampersand pins and apparel to lessons and tickets to 2020 shows. Backers can also sponsor a bathroom or arrange a private party for up to 80 people in the space.
Yes, crowdfunding can be a polarizing concept, but between the high-caliber rewards they’re offering and the fact you’d be investing in the growth and improvement of the city’s improv scene, you might feel it’s worth helping Ampersand reach its $30,000 goal. You can check out the rewards and learn more about the campaign here.