Every year Passage Theatre Company presents an annual benefit gala where patrons celebrate the theatrical season and honor special guests. In light of COVID-19 precautions, Passage has decided to launch a “Don’t Make Us Have a Gala” non-event fundraising campaign in lieu of the annual benefit.

Starting today, May 26 until June 26, Passage will be posting videos on its social media from religious leaders, poets, artists and Trenton luminaries explaining why it is important to support non-profit arts organizations such as Passage during this time. Patrons can support this non-event initiative with $50 for one ticket to not attend, $100 for two tickets to not attend, $250 for not bidding at the silent auction, $500 for not watching speeches on Zoom, or a symbolic donation for what might have been spent on a new outfit, a rental tux and a babysitter.

John Thurber photographed in Trenton, N.J. November 25, 2013. (Photo by Cie Stroud)

Passage’s Board Vice-President and Chair of the Fundraising/Development Committee, Patricia Rodeawald, said, “When the pandemic hit and the world went virtual, Passage Theatre did as well, continuing to offer new, creative work online. Now it’s time for our annual fundraising event, but it’s still not quite safe enough to gather indoors. And we know everyone has had enough of Zoom events.”

She continued, “So, this year, we’re giving everyone the opportunity to support Passage with our ‘Don’t Make Us Have a Gala’ non-event. We’re asking everyone who appreciates the power of the arts to transform a community to click a few links and make a donation to Passage Theatre.”

Following tradition, Passage continues to have a special honorary guest for its benefit. This year they will be celebrating John P. Thurber, Vice President for Public Affairs at Thomas Edison State University. John is responsible for the university’s work in the area of advancement. He also serves as executive vice president for the Thomas Edison State University Foundation.

Tune in to Passage Theatre’s social media pages and YouTube channel on June 26 to see John accept the award.