by Grant Cleaveland. @cleaveland_g.
ITHACA, NY - As the country struggles to deal with the financial ramifications of COVID-19, one plucky regional theatre has found an inventive way to pay its bills: siphoning gasoline out of parked cars throughout the area and reselling it, Ithaca Ensemble Theatre Gerard Horton confirmed.
“We’ve tried everything to make money since we shut down,” Horton explained. “People aren’t paying for live theatre right now, so we had to get creative. We tried selling blood. Zoom improv shows. I even fought my own dad on Facebook Live for $30. Then I saw the theatre’s adjacent parking lot filled with cars and thought, well, maybe they want to make a donation to the live arts.”
Doug Duncan, a proud owner of a 2014 Mazda 3, no longer takes issue with the theatre’s money making tactics.
“When I first saw them siphoning gas out of my Mazda, I was like, ‘get the fuck away from my Mazda!’ But after they explained they were going to resell the gasoline to pay Ithaca Ensemble Theatre’s rent, I was like… wow. That’s beautiful, y’know?” stated Duncan. “I was a theatre kid in high school, I get it. It’s important that theatre stays in our community, even if it means I have to buy gas eight times a week.”
Rebecca Morton, an intern for the theatre’s 2020-21 season, knows the in’s and out’s of extracting gasoline from cars.
“Open the gas tank, insert the tube, and suck out the sweet stuff,” Rebecca explained. “Only it’s not sweet at all. Gasoline is bitter, and kinda salty. I never thought I’d be able to tell the difference between regular and diesel gas by taste alone. Actually, I thought I’d be doing more acting at this acting internship. But we’re doing Company next season, and I could totally get Amy if I make myself an essential gas mule.”
At press time, Horton emphasized how proud he is of this theatre and community.
“Theatrefolk are inherently crafty. We’ve been making ends meet to pursue our passion for millennia. If we were in the animal kingdom, we’d be the rats in the gutter dancing for money. But we’d be wearing wizard outfits like Mickey Mouse in Anastasia, because theatre is magic. Does that make sense? I’m getting the gas spins.”
DISCLAIMER: The Broadway Beat does not recommend ingesting gasoline, unless it’s for theatre’s sake.