Venture Theatre Moves Forward

Venture Theatre moves forward with fundraisers, campaign fund

January 11, 2013 11:18 am  •  By Jaci Webb

With three fundraisers planned over the next three weeks, Venture Theatre’s board members and staff are confident that they can raise enough money to keep the theater from closing at the end of the month.

Joan McCracken, who was serving as spokesperson for the Venture board of directors, said the theater’s $125,000-plus debt came as a surprise, but the support pouring in from all directions has brought renewed optimism to the downtown community theater.

“Venture has affected so many lives and provided an avenue for people to practice the art of performing,” McCracken said.

In coming weeks, McCracken said the board will look for an interim director — possibly a volunteer — who can handle the business of running a theater. The nine-member volunteer board has pledged to contribute enough to cover 10 percent of the debt and to scrutinize every expenditure at Venture Theatre to keep expenses down.

McCracken said a number of people have volunteered to help with almost every aspect of running the theater, from sweeping the sidewalks and cleaning the toilets to taking tickets. But what the theater needs right now is cash donations, McCracken said.

Letters are going out over the next few days to anyone who has ever bought a ticket at Venture, worked on a show, or had a child take an acting or singing class there. All contributions are tax-deductible. A fund has been set up at First Interstate Bank to take donations. To contribute, make your check out to Venture Theatre Campaign Fund, c/o First Interstate Bank, 401 N. 31st St., Billings, MT 59101.

The fundraisers include a show Jan. 19 at Bones Brewing Co. featuring several local bands, including a reunion show by the Tyler Burnett Band; a Jan. 30 cabaret show at Venture Theatre; and a Comedy Explosion event featuring the Funky Bunch and Projectile Comedy on Feb. 1 at Venture Theatre. For more information, go to