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FUSION incites, 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 future.

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 staff.

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 by avocation

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 available here.

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 national grants.

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!




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click to learn more about The New Works Fest