SAN ANTONIO -- Crumbling walls, broken lights that can't be replaced and an air conditioning system as old as Hemisfair. Those are just a few of the problems Magik Theatre faces as it pays down hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.
"We have a van that has over 200,000 miles on it. No air conditioning and the actors have to go around," said Magik CEO Frank Villani. "We need to be upgrading that type of van for them, but we don't have the money to upgrade the van and still continue to pay off what we're doing."
When Villani took over Magik Theatre two years ago, the debt was much worse.
It sits at $200,000 right now and without the public's help, that deficit will take two-to-five years to pay off.
"We have a very aggressive campaign that very thankfully we get support not only from the city and the county but some private donors who believe no child should be turned away," Villani said.
Magik Theatre operates on a roughly $1.8 million budget. Villani said about $400,000 of that comes from donations.
For a non-profit, he said that number should be higher.
"I think a lot of people never understood that Magik was a non-profit and that it needed help sometimes," he said.
Villani brought in Frances Limoncelli to be the theatre's managing artistic director this summer. It's her job to focus on Magik's future.
"Rather than have a crisis management model where we're trying to put out fire after fire, figuratively, of course, what I'm focused on is building a plan for Magik's next 20 years," Limoncelli said.
Part of that plan is expanding the program to appeal to middle and high school students.
"Those are critical periods where children often become disillusioned with school and we have the chance to bring them back to loving great literature and loving great stories," she said.
But those plans are on hold until Magik's debt is paid off. The two are hopeful they'll get enough public support to make that happen sooner rather than later.
"If we were able to expand our donor base by 200 thousand dollars, that debt is gone," Villani said.