The UC Follies — University College’s student theatre troupe — experienced a $12,000 deficit caused by lower than expected revenue from Dogfight, a musical production that ran from November 25 to December 3.
Ramsey Andary, President of the University College Literary and Athletic Society (UC Lit), told The Varsity, “The Follies were expecting to make $10,000 in ticket sales in order to cover a $13,000 Hart House invoice amongst many other expenses.”
Due to lower-than-expected sales, “there is a deficit between the cost of the theater rental and the money made from ticket sales,” Andary said.
In addition, Andary pointed out that the Follies did not receive a grant this year, which they had received in years past, and that this added to the loss of expected revenue.
“Our funding from the UC Lit remained the same, however, our UTSU funding was reduced substantially, and we did not receive a U of T grant that we had received in previous years,“ confirmed Marie Trotter, Executive Producer of the UC Follies.
The Follies are an ancillary of the UC Lit, funded in part by a fee levy on students. As an ancillary, their budget is tied to the UC Lit’s. The UC Lit has not provided any more funding to the group since the initial club funding in November. Andary reassured students that “as of now, this has had no impact on the Lit’s operating budget or any services or events offered by the Lit.”
The impact of the deficit on both the operations of the Follies and the Lit was minimized “through a combination of budget cuts and planned funding applications from external sources,” Andary said.
In addition, the UC Water Dragons dragon boating team also contributed $2,000 towards covering the deficit, according to Andary.
Two weeks ago, The Varsity reported that UC Orientation ran a $10,000 deficit, which lead to the depletion of the UC Lit’s contingency fund. This prompted the UC Lit to cut funding for some events and services to make up for the lost contingency.
The UC Follies date back to 1885, when the group would perform musical sketch comedy revues at the Hart House Theatre.
They have run three shows in the 2016–2017 season so far, including Dogfight, a story set during a night in 1963 in anticipation of three US Marines deploying to Southeast Asia. The Follies will perform Touch and Just the Fax, Ma’am, Just the Fax at the U of T Drama Festival in February while Myrmidons, a Greek tragedy by Aeschylus, is scheduled for this March.