Firehouse Theatre Project, Inc.
1609 W. Broad Street
Richmond VA 23220
Mission Statement
Firehouse Theatre is an artistic home, a thriving hub of creative activity, and a center for community engagement where new work is developed and performed
Web and Social Media
RTCC Award Nominated Catherine Shaffner and Denver Crawford
CEO/Executive Director Joel Bassin
Board Chair D. Noah Cheely Downs
Board Chair Company Affiliation Associate, McDonald, Sutton & DuVal
Contact Information
Address 1609 W. Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23220
Telephone 804 355-2001
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1993
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $283,500.00
Projected Expenses $283,500.00
Firehouse Theatre is an artistic home, a thriving hub of creative activity, and a center for community engagement where new work is developed and performed
  • Produced the work of over 400 artists.
  • Attracted 53 new members during our mid-year membership campaign and attracted 30 new members for our 23rd season.
  • Had a season of one of the most diverse and distinctive programs within our community.
  • Establish new programs to more fully provide a space that highlights Firehouse's core values of experimentation, collaboration, and engagement.
  • Activate the space and increase programming from an average of 75 performances per season to 150+ performances per season.
  • Create an artist advisory board.
  1. Complete our capital campaign and begin the capital project to renovate and improve Firehouse.
  2. Increase earned income through more programming to support the continued development and production of new work.
  3. Expand access to our programs for under-served populations by developing partnerships with local organizations.
Our iconic building at 1609 W. Broad Street has been an artistic home and a center for new work. Firehouse has nurtured and been a professional springboard for many artists and groups from many disciplines, has produced regional premieres of many of the most significant plays of our time, and is beloved by many loyal audience members.
CEO Statement
Our 23rd season theme is BREAKING THROUGH. We are continuing our practice of programming in three different series – FIREHOUSE PLAYS, FIREHOUSE FRINGE, and FIREHOUSE STUDIO. Our hyperactive programming model advances our mission to be a diverse and accessible artistic home, a thriving hub of creative activity, and a center for community engagement where new work is developed and performed.
Areas of Service
Areas Served
In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Metro Richmond
Tri-cities Region
Richmond, City
Chesterfield County
Henrico County
Petersburg, City
Hanover County

Firehouse Theatre Project proudly serves the Greater Richmond area, as well as Central Virginia, with a specific emphasis on residents of the Fan/VCU Area and Downtown.  Regular patrons draw from the surrounding counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, Powhatan, and Goochland, as well as from Williamsburg, Virginia Beach and Northern Virginia.

Board Chair
Board Chair D. Noah Cheely Downs
Company Affiliation Associate, McDonald, Sutton & DuVal
Term July 2017 to June 2019
Board CoChair
Board CoChair Martha Shotwell
Company Affiliation Controller, Kuntz-Bryant, PC
Term July 2017 to June 2019
Board of Directors
Board Members
Gunther Brinkman Vice-President, Contract Manufacturing
D. Noah Cheely Downs University of Richmond
Steve Gaidos KPMG
D. Presley Garrett Carreras Jewelers
Donna Heath SunTrust
Christina Mease Dominion Virginia Power
Chris Moon Dominion Power
Martha Shotwell Koontz-Bryant, P.C.
Maja E. White Board Member
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 5
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 100
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Standing Committees
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Joel Bassin
Experience Joel comes to Firehouse with an active career in the performing arts that crosses artistic, administrative, academic, and technical areas. He toured the world as Managing Director of The Wooster Group and worked with Mabou Mines and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. As an independent producer he has collaborated with artists including Jim Findlay, Cynthia Hopkins, Anita Gonzalez, James Braly, Butch Morris, Marlies Yearby, and Joseph Chaikin. Joel has directed and acted in new plays and musicals at theatres in Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, and New York. He received his M.F.A. in Directing from Mason Gross School of the Arts, his Ph.D. in Theatre from the Graduate School of the City University of New York, and was Associate Professor and Chair of the Hunter College Department of Theatre.
Senior Staff
Tennesee Dixon Associate Producer
Adam B. Ferguson Associate Producer
Todd Labelle Associate Producer
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 2
Volunteers 17
Contractors 80
Retention Rate 80
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2014
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes


  • Coproducing James Ricks/Peasant Slave Productions' NO EXIT (Aug & Sept 2015).
  • Coproducing Shafer Alliance Laboratory Theatre's production of Marie Irene Fornes' MUD (Sept 2015), and the storytelling series SEX, LIES… (Dec 2015).
  • Dreamers Theater in residence at Firehouse performs THE BULLY PLAY (Nov 2015) and begins development of a new work for FY17 that Firehouse has written grants for.
  • Coproducing performances by Puppets Off Broad Street (Jan 2016).
  • Coproducing a series of magic shows with the Richmond Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.
  • Coproducing a series of burlesque shows with Blacklist Burlesque.
  • Coproducing a revival of Free Jambalaya's ON THE 9's WITH NICK NUEVE (Jan 2016).
  • Coproducing a revival of Quill Theatre's THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (Feb 2016).
  • Coproducing Woven Orbits Theatre's Acts of Faith production of the new play, CARRYING THE LOAD (March 2016).
  • Coproducing Heritage Theatre Ensemble's FOR COLORED GIRLS… in repertory with FOR BLACK BOYS… (March 2016).
  • Producing TOY’S HOME with Italy's Need Teatro (March 2016).
  • Hosting VCU Humanities HIV play reading series (April 2016).
  • Hosting VCU Theatre's Solo Performance showcase (April 2016).
  • Hosting James River Writers' monthly THE WRITING SHOW.


Best Actress in a Leading Role - Laine Satterfield (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2011
People's Choice - Dessa RoseRichmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2012
Best Actor in a Leading Role - Terence Sullivan (The Rocky Horror Show)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2012
Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Nicholas Aliff (The Rocky Horror Show)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2012
Best Choreography - Maggie Marlin (The Rocky Horror Show)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2012
Outstanding Achievement in Costume Design - Holly Sullivan (The Rocky Horror Show)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2012
Best Local Theatre Company - Runner-UpStyle Weekly Best of Richmond Survey2012
Best Actor in a Supporting Role — Nicklas Aliff (Any Given Monday)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2013
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design - Joey Luck (A Bright New Boise)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2013
Best Local Theatre Company - Runner-UpStyle Weekly Best of Richmond Survey2013
Best Actress in a Play - Catherine Shaffner ('Night Mother)Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards2014
Description “Welcome to a new kind of tension, all across the alienation, where everything isn’t meant to be okay.” These lyrics from the title song in Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT reflect Billie Joe Armstrong's embrace of and response to the anxiety of our post 9/11 age that helped make their music the anthem for a generation. AMERICAN IDIOT was recorded as a “punk rock opera" and won a Grammy in 2005, then it was adapted into a Broadway musical in 2009. Firehouse’s production of AMERICAN IDIOT will be co-directed by Producing Artistic Director Joel Bassin and Associate Producer Adam B. Ferguson. Opening is scheduled for Saturday, June 25.
What do toilet brushes, thought police, green candles, and the Ministry of Truth have in common? The revolutionary imaginations of Alfred Jarry (UBU ROI) and George Orwell (1984) are blended together in a hybrid mash-up of two classics about power, corruption...and obscenity. Firehouse’s world premiere of UBU 84 will be adapted and directed by James Ricks, just in time for the final sprint to the finish line in the presidential election race. Opening is scheduled for Saturday, September 24, 2016.
Bo Wilson’s THE BOATWRIGHT will receive its regional premiere as part of Wilson’s yearlong residency at Firehouse. Winner of the 2014 AACT NewPlayFest, THE BOATWRIGHT is about hiding out, running away, and breaking through. As Wilson has said, the play expresses a common desire to “sail away to a quieter place.” Gary Hopper will direct. Opening is scheduled for Saturday, February 4, 2017.
We are finalizing arrangements for some exciting co-productions with other Richmond theatres next season that we will announce in a future release and post on our website (
Population Served Adults
Budget $100,000.00
Long Term Success We are in the process of developing metrics to evaluate our programs.


Firehouse Fringe productions include Classical Revolution RVA; Nocte Covina Burlesque; comedian Lucas Bohn; Raymond Goode’s THROUGH THEIR EYES; Nu Puppis’ deconstruction of the classic American musical SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS; the Weinstein JCC’s Jewish Family Theatre’s Second Stage Theatre in residence with performances of LES MISERABLES: School Edition; K Dance’s YES! DANCE INVITATIONAL; The Big Burly Project will revive BRAVELY BARE and will premiere their new burlesque musical BARE IN THE WOODS.
Some of this season's most popular Fringe series will return next season such as bi-monthly performances by Firehouse Radio Players – including their annual production of WAR OF THE WORLDS; RANT storytelling; THE PORCH folk/heritage music; Words on Fire: Happy Hour Poetry; Firehouse Play Reading Roundtable curated by Janet B. Rodgers; IBM* Magic (*International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 180); Lunchtime Theatre with the Not Ready for Dinner Players; and Starlet Knight’s Cabaret starring Anthony Dowd; and RED HOT PATRIOT: The Kick Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.
Fringe programs in development for next season include three interconnected new one acts by Bo Wilson titled FOOD CLOTHING AND SHELTER as part of his yearlong residency; an immersive/interactive dance marathon production;  THE PARISH – a music/storytelling series with church choirs; and THE PANTRY – a live cooking competition series. Specific schedules and more information for Firehouse Fringe events will be posted on our website as soon as they are finalized (

Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $30,000.00
Short Term Success we are in the process of developing metrics to evaluate program.
Long Term Success we are in the process of developing metrics to evaluate program.


The Studio is our incubator for new work, where artists and makers of all kinds can investigate, explore, test, and exercise their creative imaginations. Work-in-progress showings and post-performance talkbacks are part of the Studio process. Next season's Firehouse Studio includes a Directors Project Festival featuring work by Brandon Bruce, Jeff Clevenger, and Kelsey Schneider, and a new play that Bo Wilson will develop as part of his yearlong residency. Other Studio projects will be added in the coming months and information will be posted on our website (

Population Served General/Unspecified
Budget $30,000.00
Short Term Success we are in the process of developing metrics to evaluate program.
Long Term Success

we are in the process of developing metrics to evaluate program.

CEO/ED/Board Comments

Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $283,500.00
Projected Expenses $283,500.00
Spending Policy N/A
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201720162015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$4,609$3,230$8,735
Individual Contributions$113,071$90,836$140,849
Investment Income, Net of Losses$1,268$1,195--
Membership Dues------
Special Events--$6,095$12,178
Revenue In-Kind------
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$261,607$274,089$271,716
Administration Expense$16,379$18,910$25,723
Fundraising Expense$3,074$3,268$18,207
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.031.302.16
Program Expense/Total Expenses93%93%86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue3%1%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$1,170,757$1,159,497$1,070,193
Current Assets$465,110$434,138$412,617
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets$1,170,757$1,159,497$1,070,193
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Dates Dec 2008 to June 2016
Amount Raised To Date $560,000.00
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit ExemptionView
Organization Comments

Foundation Comments
  • 2012 was a short tax year, January 1 - June 30, 2012.  The organization changed its fiscal year from a calendar year to FYE June 30th.
  • Financial information provided from IRS 990s.
  • IRS 990s prepared by Steve Walls & Associates.
  • Revenue from "Individuals" also includes support from foundations and corporations.
  • Firehouse Theatre does not currently conduct an audit.