Capital Campaign

Theatre for a New Audience Has Announced
the Successful Completion of its $69.1 million Capital Campaign

On May 22, at the Theatre’s Annual Spring Gala Celebrating Shakespeare’s Birthday, the Theatre announced that it had surpassed its $69.1 million goal for its Capital Campaign. Polonsky Shakespeare Center, the Theatre’s state-of-the-art permanent home in the Brooklyn Cultural District, opened in fall 2013, following a $10 million naming gift from The Polonsky Foundation. Since that time, Polonsky Shakespeare Center has welcomed nearly 150,000 people from across the region for Theatre for a New Audience’s acclaimed productions and programs.

The Capital Campaign, begun in 2000, was comprised of three phases. Phases I and II, totaling $4 million, stabilized the Theatre’s finances, established a $625,000 Working Capital Reserve, and created an Artistic Growth Fund that expanded the Theatre’s offerings to three productions per season, increased its subscriber base and raised its public profile. The stabilization and expansion provided by Phases I and II laid the groundwork for the Theatre to pursue its goal of constructing a home of its own.

The Theatre announced Phase III of the Campaign, Shakespeare Works in Brooklyn: The Campaign for a Permanent Home, in 2005. Prior to the opening of Polonsky Shakespeare Center, Theatre for a New Audience had been an itinerant producer, renting venues across New York City to present its work. Phase III included the design and construction of the Theatre’s first home of its own, specifically designed for Shakespeare and classic drama; the establishment of endowments for programs and operations; the marketing and programming launch of the Inaugural Season; and supporting expenses. The inaugural production in the new space was Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Julie Taymor. The total raised by Phase III is more than $65 million.

Theatre for a New Audience’s endowment funds include a $1.7 million Humanities Fund to support the Theatre’s expanded humanities programming, established by a prestigious $500,000 Challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The $1 million Elayne P. Bernstein Education Fund Education was established to support the Theatre’s education programming in New York City’s public schools. Shakespeare and other classic theatre productions are supported by the Howard Gilman Foundation Fund for Classic Drama, established by a $1 million gift from the Howard Gilman Foundation.

Under the administration of Mayor Michael Bloomberg (through the Mayor’s Office, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and the New York City Council), The City of New York invested more than $34 million in Theatre for a New Audience’s new home. Additional public support for the project came from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and the New York State Council on the Arts. In addition to leadership support from The City of New York and The Polonsky Foundation, major support for the Capital Campaign was provided by the SHS Foundation, Cleary, Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, Theodore C. Rogers, and The Irving Harris Foundation. The Theatre is deeply grateful to all these leading donors, as well as the than 450 private donors who helped make the new facility a reality.

Read the press release here. 

You can see the list of Capital Campaign supporters here. 

You can still support the Theatre’s new home by making an endowment gift, or to the Seat for Shakespeare Campaign.

Make an Endowment Gift to Theatre for a New Audience 

Seat Naming Campaign 

For more information, please contact:

James Lynes
Director of Institutional Advancement
212-229-2819 x 29