On Monday, November 5, the Long Beach Playhouse was burglarized. The thief got away with about $1000 in cash, a laptop and an employee's wallet.
"A man was in the LBP lobby asking about volunteering or working on an upcoming production," said Madison Mooney, business and operations manager. "He seemed to know members of the staff by name and said he had an appointment to meet with one of them."
As it turns out, the man had gotten the names from a volunteer who was working on the outdoor lighting. When the business manager left her desk for less than a minute to retrieve the mail, the individual took the cash and her wallet. He apparently took the laptop either as he entered or exited through the back door,
"What's disturbing is we are the second arts organization in a week to have this happen. And based on the description, it appears to be the same individual in both cases," said Andrew Vonderschmitt, producing artistic director. "As much as we have enjoyed having an open-door to the community at all times, we are now keeping all entrances locked and secured. We are hoping to install a security camera as well."
As a member of the arts community, one of the first things the LBP did (beyond filing a police report) was to notify other theaters in the city as well as the Arts Council who serves as support to most all of the city's arts organizations.
The LBP had already begun its annual community campaign, seeking to bring in contributions to support its production and education programs. Now that campaign is even more important than ever, according to Vonderschmitt.
"Our goal was to raise $50,000 from our community campaign, now we have to raise $52,000 to replace the stolen money and laptop," said Vonderschmitt. "I hope the public will help us. We have been a city institution since 1929 - that's 83 years and we have every intention of being here for another 83 years. We hope the public will help us achieve that goal."
To contribute to the campaign, visit the LBP website at www.lbplayhouse.org.