Berkeley Rep Audiences Raise $92,000 for Hurricane Relief

by Jacob Coakley
Cast members of The Last Tiger in Haiti invited audiences to donate.
Cast members of The Last Tiger in Haiti invited audiences to donate.

BERKELEY, CA—Berkeley Repertory Theatre raised $92,000 via donations from audience members during the run of its latest show, The Last Tiger in Haiti—which opened 10 days after Hurricane Matthew struck parts of Haiti. The two Haitian organizations that will receive the donations are Lambi Fund of Haiti, a unique grassroots organization whose mission is to assist the popular, democratic movement in Haiti; and Restavek Freedom, an organization whose mission is to end child slavery (or restaveks) in Haiti.

More details from Berkeley Repertory Theatre

On October 4, 2016 Hurricane Matthew struck parts of Haiti and left massive destruction in its path. Ten days later, The Last Tiger in Haiti, which tells the story of five restavek children in Haiti, opened at Berkeley Rep. Given the setting of the show, cast members — two of whom are of Haitian descent — felt compelled to be involved. After every performance they, with the help of Berkeley Rep’s volunteer ushers, invited audience members to make cash donations to aid those affected by the hurricane.

“While I am deeply moved by this outpouring of support from our audiences, I am not at all surprised by their generosity and compassion,” says Managing Director Susan Medak. “We have a deeply conscientious and active community. When a call goes out to aid those in need you can count on their participation.”

All of the funds collected were passed directly to the organizations and will support their ongoing relief activities.

The Lambi Fund works toward economic justice, democracy, and alternative sustainable development in Haiti. Their hurricane relief efforts include providing shelter materials and agricultural support in the form of equipment and seeds to allow farmers to revitalize irrigation canals and crop planting, so that the November planting season can proceed and produce the food critical to local communities. www.lambifund.org

Restavek Freedom works to eliminate child slavery in Haiti via advocacy, influencing local attitudes about how this practice is viewed, and mobilizing religious and community leaders to stand up for justice. Following the hurricane, the organization has delivered more than 11 tons of food; repaired homes, schools and churches; cleared rubble and trees; and hosted dental and medical clinics. www.restavekfreedom.org

ABOUT BERKELEY REP

Berkeley Repertory Theatre has grown from a storefront stage to an international leader in innovative theatre. Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, the nonprofit has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed nearly 400 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities — which include the 400-seat Peet’s Theatre, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley — are helping revitalize a renowned city. Learn more at berkeleyrep.org