celebrates, and inspires community through the art
of story telling. We are dedicated to professional
excellence, the awakening of a new audience, and
the inspiration of our children, the genesis of our
Fusion / n: 1. a merging of diverse,
distinct or separate elements into a unified whole;
2. a political
partnership; 3. the union of atomic nuclei resulting
in the release of enormous quantities of energy
when certain light elements unite.
To that end we will:
1. Produce plays that have immediate audience reference
utilizing universal themes, by playwrights of noted
excellence. Particular focus will be on those playwrights
considered voices of the American experience, i.e.
Great American Plays.
2. Create The Young Artists Festival and Scholarship
Program providing foreign exchange with European
students and an opportunity to perform in professional
venues within and outside of the USA, with emphasis
on economically disadvantaged Native American and
Hispanic populations of New Mexico.
3. Through fundraising, expand our venue, adding
an arts lounge and library where the community may
gather, other arts organizations are publicized and
increased seating capacity for our audiences.
4. Contribute to other performing arts programs,
including those in local schools, by providing rehearsal
facilities, performance venues and technical support.
5. Establish and implement a working manifesto in
accordance with Actors Equity guidelines, insuring
the proper treatment of artists while fostering fastidious
work habits and ideals in rehearsal and performance.
6. Implement a fundraising structure through donations
and grants so as to create an endowment for the financial
provision of our artists and paid positions for working
7. Initiate participation and partnership with local
businesses and government in Albuquerque, promoting
patronage of downtown venues, the geographical heart
of its community.
by Mark Cleveland
Systems Designer by profession
and past President of the FUSION Board of Directors
Since its founding in 2001,
FUSION Theatre Company remains New Mexico’s only Actors’ Equity
theatre. Albuquerque in particular is blessed with
seemingly more theatres per capita than any other
US city, some of which now have ticket prices like
FUSION’s, prompting many people to ask us
what being Equity means and why that is important
to this city and state.
The Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) is the
union of professional actors and stage managers in
the United States. Because theatre is expensive,
subject to audience whims and therefore risky, actors
have always had to concede earnings just to engage
in their craft. Even on Broadway, the theatrical
heart of the U.S., where shows at least have a good
chance of making money, producers historically have
pressured actors to give up wages in order to land
a part. In the worst days, actors were even expected
to provide their own costumes, no small burden if
you were a chorus girl in a Ziegfeld extravaganza!
FUSION is the only theatre in New Mexico that contracts
with AEA to hire and pay actors. For the professional
actors who work with FUSION, that means they are
paid for every rehearsal and every show, in addition
to having FUSION make the lion’s share of payments
that provide them health care and support for retirement
income through the union. FUSION is a vital asset
to professional local actors, all of whom have worked
around the country and have chosen to make their
homes in New Mexico, where they pay taxes, raise
children and support our quality of life in a myriad
of ways, both mundane and unique. Additionally, each
season, FUSION engages several dynamic out-of-town
professionals to supplement the considerable talent
For our audiences, the designation "Member,
Actors’ Equity Association" next to an
actor’s name in our programs is assurance that
you’re enjoying the work of a highly skilled
professional who has undergone years of training
in the craft and who, by nature of Equity membership
requirements, has proven him or herself to be repeatedly
employed by professional theaters around the nation.
FUSION is dedicated to providing increasing opportunities
for professionals. Throughout our existence, FUSION
has steadily progressed up the “rungs” of
Equity contracts to a level called Small
Professional Theater-Level 4, one notch below the big regional
houses. We are now able to nurture new professionals
by awarding Equity “points” that are
the first steps to full membership. In accord with
our mission and the national recognition we received
this year from the American Theater Wing (producers
of the annual Tony awards) as one of a handful of “Emerging
American Theaters,” we recognize the limitations
our lovely but small home, The Cell, places on our
economic growth toward regional status. Our patrons
have noted the moves we’re making to break
through that limitation: we’ve been expanding
offerings in Santa Fe and this year, we’re
producing shows at the fabulous Kimo and Lensic Theaters.
With growth comes risk. But, the alternative—stasis—is
unappealing to us and frankly, is not a viable business
option. There are more extremely good Equity actors
in New Mexico than we can currently, regularly employ.
Although many enjoy work as film actors as members
of the sister unions, SAG and AFTRA, having only
one Equity theater in the state—FUSION—is
a present reality we want to expand. In the past,
New Mexico has supported as many as three viable
Equity theatres—one in Albuquerque and two
in Santa Fe. The current recession has quashed others’ willingness
to build other fully-fledged Equity theatres; but
FUSION is solidly in the black, supported by a very
strong subscriber base and outstanding local and
We’re growing and we want our city and state
to grow with us. Take a good look at the outstanding
history FUSION has as one of the premiere theatres
in the nation to produce the best Broadway and the
West End have to offer—and as we frequently
hear, usually at a far higher level than the originals!
Our new season is no exception, bringing four multi-Tony
and Olivier award winners to our knowledgeable and
appreciative patrons. Come see us at our new, exciting
venues, the Kimo and the Lensic! And tell all your
friends what it means to see, hear and enjoy world-class
theatre in our state while ensuring the best professionals
in the field have a first-rate place to work!
We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your
commitment, care and support for this great, odd,
scary, blessed thing called professional theatre!