Virtually every theater company in South Florida has been struggling in the current economy, but the Maltz Jupiter Theatre is celebrating a welcome financial boost reflecting what its administration hopes is increasing long-term support.
Its eighth annual gala, ‘A Night in Vienna’ raised a record-setting $495,000, said development director Kathy Berman. Last year, the gala raised $325,000. The number of attendees jumped from 312 to more than 370.
It should be noted that the Maltz’s generous supporters qualify for a slightly different tax bracket than the patrons of Mad Cat Theatre. Those attending the event enjoyed dinner and music in the Mediterranean and Venetian ballrooms of The Breakers in Palm Beach. Among the silent auction items was a diamond necklace from Tiffany & Co.
But the increase may reflect several factors, Berman said. The historic Breakers in Palm Beach is a larger and more elegant venue than the Maltz has used previously in Jupiter ‘ and one closer to a larger population center. ‘It said we are a serious theater,’ Berman said. The new venue cost $30,000 more than last year, but netted $175,000 more.
The theater also has grown a reputation for lush, solid productions, ‘wooing a very discerning, extremely loyal audience that is extremely appreciative of quality work,’ Berman said.
The Maltz staff also has been more aggressively marketing the theater. It sought underwriting from the gala from companies for the first time, in addition to individuals ‘ doubling the number of sponsors to 50.