The financial impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) on Venice Theatre has been immense. As a result of event cancellations we have lost close to  $2 million in revenue.

That is why we are asking patrons to consider making a donation to the theatre at this time. This will help to limit the financial impact to the theatre and help our organization weather this difficult period.

Every year, Venice Theatre must raise around 25% of our yearly operating budget in contributed giving. Without the generous support of our donors, Venice Theatre would not have become the integral, enduring gem in the crown of our beautiful community for 70 years.

We strive to be the center for arts entertainment and education in south Sarasota County, to help students from all segments of the community build life skills through a diverse offering of outreach programs, and to provide seniors with entertainment and arts education. You can help us carry this long-standing tradition into the future through tax-deductible donations.

Donate Today

Venice Theatre is the second largest community theatre in the nation and the heart of the arts in South Sarasota County. The Next Act Capital Campaign is its $4M campaign for the expansion and improvement of Venice Theatre’s production and education campus.

New classroom and rehearsal spaces will give our community more chances to explore the power of the arts.

Help our students expand their horizons by playing your part through naming a studio, stage, and even a building.

Donate Today

Thank you to our corporate and media partners

Read about the campaign progress

Renovations underway

Venice Gondolier-Sun STAFF REPORT VENICE — Work is underway inside Venice Theatre as Magnum Builders of Sarasota starts renovating the theater’s lobby. There are no other slated shows until July, so Venice Theatre is using the time as an opportunity to start “work on renovations more than 20 years in the making,” it said in … Continued

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Venice Theatre assessing future growth

Venice Gondolier-Sun STAFF REPORT VENICE — Venice Theatre is going to see new improvements in coming months. According to a news release, Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors has partnered the theater “and will spearhead new growth initiatives across its campus.” SSAI is a “multi-disciplinary architecture and planning firm” based in Sarasota. The announcement was made … Continued

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Theater receives $250K check

Venice Gondolier-Sun STAFF REPORT VENICE — For Venice Theatre, the year 2020 started with the Next Act Capital Campaign as local philanthropist William H. Jervey pledged $1 million to match community support. Recently, he provided a $250,000 check — from 6 feet away — to the theater’s Producing Executive Director Murray Chase as a part … Continued

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Venice Theatre announces 2020-2021 lineup and christens The Jervey Theatre

Venice Gondolier-Sun By Laurie Colton, Venice Theatre VENICE — Venice Theatre announces its 71st season of shows. The theater also announced that it has named its 432-seat MainStage proscenium theater, The Jervey Theatre, after benefactor, Dr. William H. Jervey, Jr. Venice resident Dr. Jervey recently offered $1,000,000 to Venice Theatre to encourage the community to … Continued

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Venice Theatre buys Hamilton Building

Venice Gondolier-Sun STAFF REPORT VENICE — Venice Theatre officials signed papers Friday closing their deal on the purchase of the Arts Education Building — formerly known as the Hamilton Building. The $1.06 million deal sale from the city of Venice will lead to a renovation to the 9,518-square foot building, according to Venice Theatre officials. … Continued

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The Presidents Club is an exclusive group for Venice Theatre’s most generous supporters. Donors at the $1,000+ level get special privileges like a reception preceding select performances of our MainStage Series. These receptions take place upstairs in our Presidents Club, and include a complimentary beverage.

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Venice Theatre has been making a dramatic impact on all stages of life since it was founded in 1950. You can help us continue this long-standing tradition through charitable bequests through your will or estate plan or by designating Venice Theatre as a beneficiary of your IRA or insurance policy. Gifts by Will and Trusts are among the easiest ways to make significant future gifts to the individuals and charities that matter most to you. Once you include a bequest provision in your will or trust for Venice Theatre you will be welcomed to our Legacy Circle and the benefits that accrue thereto:

  • Invitation to our annual Legacy Circle luncheon.
  • Special acknowledgment on our website and in our SHOWNOTES for MainStage Season productions.
  • Special invitations to our Education & Outreach Department’s class showcase performances. 

If you already qualify as a member of Venice Theatre’s Legacy Circle or would like to become a member, please email VT Director of Development, Eric Watters at

Every show needs a sponsor. If you would like to make a significant contribution in order to become a co-sponsor, sponsor, co-producer, or producer on one or more of our upcoming productions, please email VT Director of Development, Eric Watters at Co-sponsors, sponsors, co-producers, and producers get special recognition on marketing materials for the productions they are supporting as well as their photo in a prominent location in our SHOWNOTES for MainStage Season productions.


Information regarding the CARES Act and its impact on charitable giving for the 2020 tax year.

As this current legislation is temporary, we encourage you to review the CARES Act information and take note of three specific items within the legislation as you consider any philanthropic giving between now and the end of the year:

  • Unlimited income tax deduction is available in 2020 for cash gifts. Individuals and joint filers who itemize their deductions can deduct 100% of their adjusted gross income for the rest of 2020.
  • For people who no longer itemize their charitable giving, the CARES Act will allow these individuals to deduct donations to charity of up to $300 on their 2020 federal tax return, even with the standard deduction.
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCD) from IRAs remain a tax-wise way to make sizable charitable gifts. In 2020, due to the CARES Act unlimited deduction, other strategies might be considered for even larger gifts from retirement accounts.

As every charitable conversation is unique to specific circumstances, we encourage you to contact Venice Theatre’s Development Office should you have any questions or would like to schedule a time to discuss any of the aforementioned items listed above.

Eric Watters, Director of Development: 941-584-0640 |

Camille Cline, Deputy Director of Development: 941-539-8872 |