GLENS FALLS — Instead of having to bundle-up and brave sleet or snow on a sub-freezing night, Adirondack Theatre Festival supporters can start bidding on auction items in their jammies from home.
“Why leave home when you can support us from your living room,” said ATF Producing Artistic Director Chad Rabinovitz. “If you live in Florida, you can still support us.”
In a new approach to raising ATF funds, Rabinovitz said they’re keeping pace with current trends to generate revenue for the theatre festival’s 2020 summer season.
“ATF is growing so much, the cost of running the organization is significant,” Rabinovitz said. “Ticket sales only cover about 40 percent of what we need. The costs are exponentially higher than the revenue from ticket sales. There are bigger sets, larger costs.”
And the new online auction slated to begin on Jan. 24, as well as an April 2 Bartender Battle, forego the more traditional gala in favor of giving everyone a chance to participate.
The ATF 2020 Online Auction runs between Jan. 24 to 31 and auction items like Broadway tickets, tickets to an SNL live taping, a Lake George dinner cruise, will be visible at atfestival.org/auction on Jan. 24, just waiting for the highest bidder.
“There are over a 100 items,” said Rabinovitz. “Restaurant packages, a choice of Broadway show like Hamilton or Harry Potter.”
The way Rabinovitz explained it, the bidding works a lot like ebay, with notifications when you’ve been outbid and opportunities to put in automatic bids, with a top bidding limit set.
With the Bartender Battle, volunteers will sign up to tend bar at four local venues — including Downtown Social, Mean Max and Davidson’s — but ahead of time they will solicit pledges for tips.
“The goal is, who can get the most tips,” Rabinovitz said, adding on the night of the event, people can crawl from bar to bar where there will be finger foods and entertainment, buy drinks and tip the ATF bartenders. And a professional bartender will also be there to help out.
“Their restaurants get the money from the drink sales,” he said. “But ATF keeps 100 percent of the tips.”
There will be bartender prizes too, but its competitive in a playful way, Rabinovitz said.
ATF will announce its summer season at an event from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., at the Queensbury Hotel on Jan. 27. The event is free.
Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli is a reporter and photographer covering Washington County, arts and life, features and breaking news.