Randall Museum Executive Director
San Francisco residents are being asked to lobby you to keep the SF Free Civic Theater program going. As one of those residents, my feeling is that producing free community theater is a commendable endeavor, and I do encourage you to make the Randall Museum's facilities available for this purpose.
However, the Rec & Park Department shouldn't have anything to do with the program! There is plenty of inexpensive theater in San Francisco happening without government agencies getting involved, and Rec & Park isn't doing such a hot job carrying out its core mission of keeping the city's parks, many of which could use some TLC, maintained. If they are putting any resources towards this program, it's not really "free" at all -- the taxpayers are footing the bill. And I'm sure those presumably unionized Rec/Park electricians, carpenters and laborers do not come cheap! (Read the last sentence of the following paragraph from the SFFCT's website, http://www.sffct.org/who.html):
"The San Francisco Free Civic Theatre is aSan Francisco Recreation and Park Department program by and for adults. We utilize existing City facilities, stock, equipment, support staff and venues to operate a producing repertory company. SFFCT produces 3 or 4 plays from September through May. All participants are volunteers committed to presenting all performances FREE of charge... As of June 22 we will rehearse in the auditorium at Eureka Valley and have full access to the room for performances. We are working on a plan to improve the auditorium. We will install permanent theatrical lighting and sound. We want to extend the stage by building a 6'x20' platform in front of it, coverting it to a thrust, and nearly doubling the current 11'x14' size. We intend to salvage stage curtains from another rec center and install them as masking along the ramp and over the windows. None of this will happen overnight but it is all doable and we'll get to it as soon as we can with the help of the Rec/Park electricians, carpenters and laborers."
Bottom line: I urge you to tell SFFCT that you will *not* grant them access to the museum's theater unless they get their construction improvements done at no cost to the taxpayers, i.e. if any city employees are involved make sure it's on their own time and their own dime.
((( starchild )))