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Struggling Arizona Theatre Company may have to cancel upcoming season

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PHOENIX — The Arizona Theatre Company says it must raise $2 million in five days or it will suspend its 2016-17 season.

According to a board member who spoke to the Arizona Daily Star, the theater company’s $7.5 million budget for the year needs an estimated $2 million more in donations to lift it out of debt.

This debt the company incurred, in part, due to a $1 million deficit in the company’s 2013 budget, caused by “leadership fights and a fractured board.”

In July 2013, managing director Mark Cole resigned amid blame from some board members for the company’s financial problems.

The company, which puts on peformances in both Phoenix and Tucson, has since finished successful seasons but the budget cuts that were made to avoid deficits have not been enough to correct the looming debt.

According to the Arizona Republic, the company sent out a letter to subscribers and donors on June 27 letting them know that they must get the funding by July 1, when they begin building to open with “King Charles III” on Sept. 10.

If the company cannot raise the funds it needs by Friday and suspends the season to reorganize its business model, it does not plan to refund tickets already purchased and instead will turn them into tax-deductible donations or tickets to other local art venues.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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