It is hard to imagine that any other theater in Richmond has made
a more continued, positive and transformational change than Richmond Triangle
Players has made in the last six years.
Just that short time ago, RTP vacated the crumbling building in which
its theater was housed and renovated an old radiator shop into a warm and
inviting new venue.
Since opening its theater at 1300 Altamont Avenue, Richmond
Triangle Players has gone from being a “fringe” theater, playing to a limited
audience, to one of the leading theaters in our area. As its mission statement outlines, RTP
delivers adventurous and entertaining theater as the leading voice in the
community’s explorations of equality, identity, affection and family, across
sexual orientation and gender spectrums.
In those same six years, RTP also has won acclaim from its growing
and diverse audiences, as well as from the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle,
with almost 100 “Best” nominations, the inaugural People’s Choice Award, and
Awards for Best Play and Best Musical twice each.
Richmond Triangle Players has also maintained a commitment to
diversity in programming, not only producing an annual series of plays, but in
opening its doors to support other theaters, in collaborating on new events and
programs, and in showcasing some of the country’s most celebrated cabaret
artists on its stage.
RTP has maintained this level of operations while keeping its mind
on its finances, and exercising great fiduciary restraint. In fact, RTP has achieved all this with only
two full-time employee (its Executive Director and Associate Production Director), its contracted paid actors,
stage artists, and technicians, a few part-time hourly employees, and many
In two years, Richmond Triangle Players will celebrate its 25th
Anniversary, an impending milestone that is now the cornerstone of our
strategic thinking and planning.
Since 2010, RTP has literally transformed itself into a much different organization, with a greater need for support and institutional capacity -- including a larger Board, committed volunteers, and donors.
The company maintains its emphasis on long-range planning and capacity building, both in the size and skill set of the Board of Directors, as well as better work systems for the professional staff. Fundraising will be aggressive, as will an increased marketing and publicity push for ticket sales and overall attendance.
THEN: WHERE WE HAVE BEEN
In 1992 Steve J. Earle, Michael Gooding and Marcus Miller got together
to produce a three night run of one-act plays called Safe Sex based on Harvey Fierstein’s trilogy. The objective was to raise money
for the AIDS crisis, which after 10 years of incubation in big cities, was then
reaching serious proportions and looming large in the consciousness of
Thus was born Richmond Triangle Players.
For 15 years RTP’s home at Fieldens Cabaret Theatre was a cozy theater
with a postage-stamp stage, on the top floor of a popular late-night club. The
intimacy and atmosphere of the Fieldens space played a unique role in RTP’s
history and artistic identity, as did its discomforts. Amenities were few.
Access was difficult with steep stairs and no elevator, and restrooms were
rudimentary. Heating and cooling were problematic. Overhead costs were modest,
but options were limited.
Success and growing audiences told us it was time for a new home.
Inspired by the vision outlined at RTP’s 15th Anniversary Gala in September
2007, and the offer of a property that might provide a permanent home that the
company could afford, RTP’s Board of Directors conducted due diligence on
feasibility and the significant renovations needed to create a functional
The rental costs at the proferred space were below market rate; RTP
would assume normal utility and other monthly costs, as well as raise funds to
support the necessary renovations. Well-known Richmond architects and
contractors pledged their support. Board members and supporters volunteered
their legal, renovation and business expertise.
NOW: WHERE WE ARE…
Despite the nation’s worst financial downturn in half a century, funds
were raised, and construction began. Finally, renovations were finished, final
inspections were completed and on February 10, 2010, Richmond Triangle Players
opened its inaugural production, Facing
East, in its wonderful new theater at 1300 Altamont Avenue.
Once thought of as merely a fringe theater, Richmond Triangle Players
now not only contributes to the city's cultural life on a par with any other
theater in town, but is looked upon as a leader in the theatrical community.
This remarkable transformation is due to careful oversight by its
passionately committed staff and Board, and the company's planning processes,
which have re-affirmed RTP's 23-year
mission, and refined its vision and goals.
During his career, he has had the great good fortune to work with some of the most celebrated names in theatre, film and dance, including Tom Hanks, Olympia Dukakis, Hal Holbrook, Alfred Drake, George Abbott, Ruby Dee, Graciela Daniele, Gerald Freedman, Bart Cook and Maria Calegari. He has served as a panelist and conference speaker for the Virginia Commission for the Arts, where he also helped craft the guidelines for the Technology Enhancement program. He holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University.
In addition to producing five
to six plays in its annual subscription season, RTP has co-produced works with
Petersburg’s Sycamore Rouge and Charlottesville’s Piedmont Virginia Community
College; collaborated twice with Henley Street Theater / Richmond Shakespeare
on works produced at RTP; has incubated two new theater companies, Cadence
Theater Company and Stage B Productions, by providing them a venue in which to
produce some of their first works; co-produced a production with TheatreLAB,
with whom they have just launched a landmark educational and performance
program called SPECTRUM for LGBTQQIA youth; housed performances by the Richmond Men's Chorus, as well as comedy
groups, burlesque troupes and local singers; launched a staged reading series;
and presented films and
internationally-known cabaret performers.
Richmond Triangle Players
also plays a central role in Richmond Region Tourism’s “Rainbow Over Richmond”
campaign (now being re-launched at OutRVA), which attracts tourists and travel
writers from all over the East Coast to visit our city (many of whom also
attend performances at RTP), and has hosted three charettes led by Richmond
City Council President Charles Samuels on Boulevard corridor improvements.
Richmond Triangle Players will present five plays in its 2016-17 subscription season. Those include Topher Payne's comedy about the 1950s Red (or in this case Pink) Scare, Perfect Arrangement, a revival of our smash hit holiday show Scrooge in Rouge (last performed in 2009 and featuring the entire original cast), Tarell Alvin McCraney's riveting Choir Boy, produced in association with Heritage Theatre Ensemble, the family drama A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle, and the Broadway musical about the wildest wedding you've ever attended, It Should Been You. Complementing these works is our Sister Series of plays, six shows which will play in staged reading form, just two nights each.
We take our responsibilities extremely seriously. We feel we must represent the LGBT community to the wider Richmond audience with a positive, educational and entertaining spirit. Our programs and service are evaluated annually by our Board, and we actively listen to our audience.
In addition to producing six plays of its own each season, RTP has
co-produced works with Petersburg’s Sycamore Rouge and Charlottesville’s
Piedmont Virginia Community College; collaborated twice with Henley Street
Theater and Richmond Shakespeare (now Quill Theatre) on works produced at RTP; has incubated
theater companies Cadence Theater Company, 5th Wall Theatre Project
and Stage B Productions, by providing them a venue in which to produce some of
their first works; co-produced with TheatreLAB, with whom they have just
launched a landmark educational and performance program for LGBTQQIA youth; housed performances by the Richmond Men's
Chorus, Puppets Off Broad Street and K Dance, as well as comedy groups, burlesque troupes and local singers; launched
a staged reading series; and presented films.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia7501 Boulders View Drive, Richmond, VA 23225804-330-7400 | www.tcfrichmond.org