Starting out 15 years ago in a basement as a touring theatre group for small audiences, Vintage Theatre has grown from that “tiny” beginning to currently reaching over 20,000 patrons each production season.
“It has been amazing to see the growth,” beams Cr aig Bond, Founder. Since moving to Aurora in 2012 into an existing black box theater, Vintage immediately added a second more intimate theatre to augment the season’s offerings. Creating a greater draw is a challenge in a large city, but one that encourages artistic excellence—and that’s Vintage’s strong suit, with such outstanding productions as “RFK”, “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Grey Gardens”.
Vintage has become a part of the Aurora Cultural Arts District (ACAD), along with other theatre and dance companies, and art galleries, in the northwest Aurora community. After serving 15 years as both Artistic and Executive Director, Bond has hired Bernie Cardell to be the new Artist Director, who will help share the inspiration.
Deborah Persoff, President of the Vintage Board of Directors, not only motivates the staff and Board with enthusiasm, but has won numerous awards including the Henry Award for Lifetime Achievement (theatre’s equivalent of the Oscar). Persoff ‘wowed’ in the recent “Rabbit Hole” production (four Henry Awards presented in 2016 by the Colorado Theatre Guild). She and Bond are participating in the City of Aurora’s and Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center’s “Nonprofit Capacity Building Series” designed for nonprofit leaders. The Vintage Board is “laser-focused” on further growth.
The Aurora-South Metro SBDC has also been of assistance to Vintage Theatre through its free and confidential one-on-one consulting in the areas of finance and marketing. Being a part of the City of Aurora’s monthly Arts District Stakeholders meetings along the Colfax Corridor has allowed these leaders to become strategic partners in the growth and success of the arts in the area. Vintage received a Northwest Aurora Arts Grant again this year, which gives the Board more freedom to expand their reach outside of the most culturally diverse zip code in Colorado, 80010, where over 100 languages are spoken—just one indicator of the population’s mix.
As soon as patrons arrive at the theatre, they find convenient parking, a large welcoming lobby, an outstanding bar with drinks matching the theme of the show on stage, and then are blown away by the quality and diversity of the performances. The many awards bestowed upon the Vintage Theatre are listed at their website (www.vintagetheatre.com). Patrons, coming from all areas of the greater metropolitan area, quickly get the feeling that they are part of something bigger in the community than one production.
The subscription base has doubled in the past three years and is at its highest on record. Vintage has one full-time and eight part-time employees, with over 300 contracts with actors and technicians each year.
Persoff sees Vintage as “the hidden gem of Northwest Aurora” and her goal is that it become “the crowning jewel!” From a grassroots touring company to an award winning theatre, Vintage Theatre Productions is a gem attracting much attention in the Aurora-metro theatre community.