June 17, 2009
The organizational restructuring announced yesterday by Skylight Opera Theatre is in direct response to the current national economic downturn and a projected deficit of $200,000 in the 2009-2010 season. Five positions were eliminated at the Skylight to bring organizational expenditures in line with anticipated earned and contributed revenue. The positions of artistic director, company manager, box office manager, assistant box office manager and custodian were eliminated, reflecting cuts across departments and seniority levels. Having struggled with an operating deficit last season and having already cut $400,000 from the 2009-2010 budget, the only option remaining was to eliminate staff positions and impose a furlough.
This was a very difficult decision, which was not made in haste or without recognition of the history many of these staff members have with the Skylight. This is an emotional time for everyone. We understand that there are some very strong feelings and comments that have been expressed about the restructuring. While we cannot address each and every comment, we appreciate those who have provided support and constructive criticism.
When Managing Director Eric Dillner joined the Skylight last year, he inherited a series of serious financial challenges. His goal continues to be to maintain the Skylight’s artistic excellence, but to do so in a financially responsible manner. The restructuring decisions were made by the Executive Committee of the Board, not by any one individual. The personal threats that have been made against Eric are inappropriate.
We want to express our sincere appreciation for Bill Theisen’s work as artistic director. Bill is a brilliant stage director and discussions are underway to contract him as a stage director in the 2009-2010 season.
The Skylight’s mission remains to deliver world-class music theatre productions to the Milwaukee community. The Board is confident that Eric and the staff are well qualified to meet these challenges and carry the Skylight’s organizational and artistic vision forward.
Skylight Opera Theatre Board of Directors
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
hefty speaks up
posted on the skylight theater's website, suzanne hefty, president of the company's board of directors, responds to the controversy surrounding the recent firings.
posted at 11:13 PM