Venture Starts Paying Debts

Venture Theatre starts paying debts, continues its season

February 05, 2013 7:05 pm  •  By Jaci Webb

Venture Theatre has paid off the payroll taxes it owed the IRS, and board members said they will pay the remaining penalties and interest later this week.

Brooke Buchanan, president of Venture’s board of directors, said supporters have pledged or donated $90,000 to help pay off the community theater’s $130,000 debt, of which $60,000 was owed to the IRS. Other major creditors include the theater’s landlord, Mike Schaer, and the city of Billings.

Venture’s collaboration with Rimrock Opera Company, which was announced last week, was a promising move forward for Venture, Buchanan said. Even though the fundraising goal of $130,000 has not yet been met, Buchanan said the board feels that enough money has been raised to allow Venture to continue.

Meanwhile, Venture is continuing with its season. “The Pirate Play,” a youth production, opens at Venture on Feb. 8, and auditions for the musical “Guys and Dolls,” which will be produced in April, continue Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

Venture is also continuing fundraising efforts with a “Venture to Paradise” raffle for a weeklong vacation in Hawaii and $1,000 in cash. Go to for more information.