Changes Ahead for BoxFest Detroit 2014

Hello BoxFest Detroit Friends and Family,

This is Molly writing to you today. There really is no easy way to say this… BoxFest Detroit is in trouble. After growing and evolving over the last 12 years of BFD’s existence and being a part of southeastern Michigan’s vibrant theatre community, BoxFest Detroit is fighting for survival. Kelly Rossi and I have issued a statement to explain our situation and I’ve included it below for you to read.

“It is with a heavy heart that we inform artists and patrons that BoxFest Detroit will not produce a full festival this summer. We have experienced a number of set backs in the last two years, that despite our best efforts, have proven difficult to overcome. These set backs include but are not limited to the lack of availability and access to a suitable venue to house the festival, the loss of a substantial annual major gift, and a decrease in revenue. At this point, the state of the organization is not financially sound enough to put on another festival and to do so would be irresponsible and could further endanger the already tenuous health of BoxFest Detroit. We understand that people may be disappointed and we want them to know that this decision was given a great deal of thought.

We encourage those who value the mission, presence, and work of BoxFest Detroit to get involved over the next year by participating in or attending our Workshop, for which we’re currently seeking submissions, and other fundraisers and events.  We also want to thank all of the artists who have participated in previous festivals, the patrons who have attended our events, Planet Ant Theater and Purple Rose Theater Company for the generous opportunities they’ve provided to our directors, and the theatre community at large for their support.”

— Molly McMahon, Artistic Director and Kelly Rossi, Executive Director

BoxFest Detroit has gone through many changes over its lifetime but its mission and vision have always been focused on one thing: women directors.  We, the producing staff, and the artists who participate in our festivals volunteer our and their time and energies so we can help showcase and create opportunities for women directors. We do this because we see a need for women directors to have a place in our theatrical ecosystem on a local and national level. We do this because historically, women directors have not been given the same opportunities as male ones and that disparity still exists today. (Here is some evidence of that disparity. Here is some more. And some more for good measure.) We do this because no one else focuses on just women directors. There is no other organization or festival like BoxFest Detroit. (Google it… it’s true.)

We have helped create opportunities for many women and we’re not done yet. If you have ever wanted to participate as a director, or playwright, or actor, or have always wanted to patronize one of our festivals but never quite made it there, I implore you: make our BFD Workshop in September your first time. If you have participated in or patronized one of our festivals before, we thank you and we urge you do it again this September. We need your support now more than ever to keep this important festival going.

Thanks for reading.

For more information on the BoxFest Detroit Workshop happening this September and how to get involved, click on the tab above labeled “Participate.”