Update from Randall Kramer - April 23, 2019
An Update on the Search For MusicalFare’s New Home...
As you may be aware, MusicalFare has been informed by Daemen College’s president that the college will not renew its current lease when it expires in 2025. The question we are asked most often is, “When are we moving?” We don’t have that answer yet, as we are still in the beginning stages of the process. Our lease runs through the completion of the 2025 season - but if the right opportunity presents itself to leave earlier, we have flexibility to do so. Please be assured, nothing will change for the next few seasons. We are currently re-envisioning what MusicalFare Theatre will look like for the next 30 years.
Our 2025 committee has been meeting regularly to determine MusicalFare’s new home for a quality theatre experience that will last for decades. This committee is comprised of myself, MusicalFare Board President Jeff Bagel, MusicalFare Board members Mark Notarius, David Wedekindt and Amy Vigneron, and community leaders Mark Martin and Sam Narins. We’ve heard you: Keep the theatre intimate, keep the sightlines and stay in the Amherst region. We have already held several exploratory meetings with public and private officials in Amherst regarding potential future locations, all of which have presented exciting possibilities. These meetings will continue throughout the remainder of the year.
Thank you for your patronage. We will continue to share all relevant information with you.
From The Buffalo News - September 26, 2018 - by Toni Ruberto
MusicalFare Theatre seeks new home – for the future
MusicalFare Theatre is looking for a new home but theatergoers are told not to worry – nothing is changing right now.
"It won’t be changing our immediate future, but our long-range future," said MusicalFare Artistic Director Randall Kramer, who was recently told by Daemen College that it would not be renewing the theater's contract when it expires in 2025.
"We are a number of years down the road until this happens. It’s important to understand that," Kramer said. "This isn’t going to change this year at MusicalFare, it’s not going to change next year at MusicalFare.
"Nothing is going to happen quickly," he emphasized. "We have a lease through 2025. Our strategic plan was already in place that the first part of 2019 we would talk about lease. It came up sooner than we expected but we are prepared for it."
MusicalFare, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary in the 2019-20 season, began presenting performances on the Daemen campus in 1991. Today, MusicalFare has a 136-seat mainstage theater, as well as the intimate Premier Cabaret space for smaller performances. "Pump Boys & Dinettes" is currently on stage through Oct. 7.
Kramer said the preference is to stay in the Northtowns, possibly partnering with a developer. "We can bring activity to the development. We have 25,000 people who visit MusicalFare annually. We're a great way to guarantee foot traffic and synergy. That’s the way we’re looking at it. We bring something unique to the table. We’re not just starting off. We have a track record here. We think we could bring something positive."
The next step for MusicalFare: complete an ad-hoc committee over the next nine to 12 months to look at possible options. "We intend it to be a list, not just one or two locations, so we can do our due diligence."
While MusicalFare has until 2025, the date is flexible if the theater finds something sooner. "I’ve been assured there won’t be a problem if we wanted to leave sooner. This is what’s great about the time frame, we can do what’s best for MusicalFare."
From Amherst Bee - September 25, 2018 - by Anna Derosa
MusicalFare Theatre to re-envision future.
Theatre’s lease with Daemen College will expire in 2025.
During its next several seasons, MusicalFare Theatre is seeking to create a new future home for the award-winning regional theatre.
MusicalFare Theatre’s board of directors was recently informed by Daemen College’s president that the college would not be renewing the current lease for the theatre when it expires in 2025.
“We have experienced a very symbiotic relationship with Daemen College over the years,” said artistic/executive director Randall Kramer. “As part of that, MusicalFare Theatre has invested approximately $2 million in the renovation and expansion of the theatre building while attracting many first-time visitors to the Amherst campus.”
MusicalFare, which draws 25,000 people to see productions and cabarets, has a 136-seat mainstage theatre and the intimate Premier Cabaret for smaller-group performances.
Kramer believes there’s a lot of opportunity elsewhere for the theatre, such as being in a higher-profile area where the theatre can be in a building with significant signage that people can see as they drive or walk by.
This would then create a more dynamic situation for the company, Kramer added.
The search for a new residence will coincide with the celebration of MusicalFare’s 30th anniversary in the 2019-20 season.
An Ad Hoc Committee of the MusicalFare board of directors, including Kramer, has been formed to determine MusicalFare’s new home for a quality theatre experience over the next three decades.
“We are taking advantage of our lease not being renewed as a unique opportunity for MusicalFare Theatre to re-envision itself for the next 30 years,” Kramer said.
According to Kramer, the theatre is looking to partner with a business or development in the community.
“We really see MusicalFare as a community asset for Amherst and Northtowns,” he said adding that the theatre has more than 2,000 subscribers and that many patrons hail from this area.
Kramer noted that what the theatre brings to the table could assist a business in the long run or even the short run.
Since its inception in 1990, MusicalFare Theatre has produced more than 170 productions, entertaining more than 500,000 people and employing more than 1,100 local actors, musicians and designers.
According to the theatre, its regional economic impact has been measured at more than $1.8 million annually.
With its year-round performances, the theatre draws activity and a crowd of people. Kramer noted that this could help bring awareness to an area of town, such as a plaza or development, and create attention for the business as well.
“We really think we create a lot of value and want to continue to do that moving forward.”
According to Kramer, the committee has already started the process of reaching out to business and government leaders in the community.
“We’re excited about the potential of this,” he said, adding that there is no intention to rush anything.
From Business First - September 21, 2018 - by James Fink
Curtain goes up on MusicalFare's search for a new theater.
MusicalFare Theatre Company, INc. will be on the move after being informed by Daemen College that the lease for its longtime home will not be renewed.
But the organization will not be rushed: MusicalFare's lease doesn't expire until 2025.
"It gives us more than enough time to come up with an option or options," said Randall Kramer, theater artistic and executive director.
Kramer has given props to Daemen for giving MusicalFare seven years to find a location.
"I get it that space is an issue, especially for a landlocked college like Daemen," Kramer said.
Staying in the Northtowns, where the bulk of MusicalFare's patrons come from, is the theater's preference, Kramer said.
MusicalFare has been on the Daemen campus since 1991, where it operates a 136 seat theater. MusicalFare has been using the building, rent-free, but pays its own operating expenses. There are an average of 160 performances, spread over five productions, each season.
"I always considered us to be Daemen's football team because of the publicity and exposure we give the college," Kramer said.
MusicalFare also produces at least one show each season at Shea's 710 Theatre in downtown Buffalo.
"We're not in panic mode," Kramer said. "This gives us the opportunity to do something really great."