What is the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund?
TCBF provides financial relief in a confidential, respectful manner to individual theater practitioners and non-profit theater organizations of Greater Boston and the surrounding areas, facing occurrences of a catastrophic nature including but not limited to extreme illness, devastating acts of nature, housing emergencies, vandalism, and theft, and who have limited or no resources with which to handle such events. TCBF recognizes the essential value of artists and arts organizations to society, and treats all applicants with dignity, discretion, and compassion.
In the Fall of 1997, a Boston-area theater artist became ill with a life-threatening condition. The theater community decided to throw a party in order to raise funds to help with medical expenses. The Big Easy nightclub opened its doors free of charge for this event, and actors, producers, writers, designers, directors, and managers all donated their time, money, and expertise. The party was an unqualified success. Out of that experience arose the idea to create an organization to aid members of our theater community who are in dire need and do not have the financial resources to meet those needs. That organization is the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund. The first directors and officers of TCBF were Polly Hogan and Ron Ritchell, founders of the Lyric Stage and Lyric West Theatre, and Mary C. Huntington, founding artistic director of The Nora Theatre Company.
In order for the Fund to grow and be more effective, the directors approached StageSource to assist with management of the Fund. Through this affiliation, both organizations benefit by being better service providers, and the theater community has a strong resource to turn to in times of trouble.
The first substantial contributor to TCBF was the Boston Theater Marathon, established in 1999 by Kate Snodgrass, Artistic Director of Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, for the dual purpose of promoting the area’s wealth of playwrights and of contributing to the Fund. In subsequent years, theaters throughout the region have participated in fund drives for the organization, raising tens of thousands of dollars and helping to make it possible for TCBF to provide over $145,000 in grants over the years.
Board of Directors
TCBF is run by a volunteer board made up of people from within and outside of the theater community of Greater Boston and the surrounding areas. The current members are:
- Amy Spalletta, President
- Robert D. Murphy, Vice-President
- Ilyse Robbins, Clerk
- Karen Perlow, Treasurer
- Ginger Lazarus
- Alex Lonati
- Sarah Newhouse
- David Remedios
- Brian Robinson
- Cheryl Singleton
- Alexandra Smith