Note from Daniel Aukin after Gala Evacuation

Dear Friends,

On Monday March 31st, I was at the Soho Rep gala. I was there because Soho Rep is important. Despite its size – some might say, because of it – Soho Rep exists as one of the most unique, vital and iconclastically uncompromising art institutions in New York City. I had the privilege to lead the company for eight seasons, and it’s been a source of boundless pride, wonder and joy to see the work of the company continue to astonish its audiences under the brilliant Sarah Benson and her team.

But Monday night was also special to me because we gathered to honor the magnificent Board Chair Jon Dembrow. I was in fact prepared to give a speech about Jon. I’m not going to get into it here, because I’m hoping to be able to give it at a later date, but the nub of it is that Jon’s work for Soho Rep for the past fifteen years has been tireless and remarkable. He is an extraordinary human and I love him dearly.

Forty-five minutes into the evening, a beam supporting the second story balcony cracked at the event venue. Everyone had to be evacuated. In true Soho Rep style, the amazing performers who were already volunteering their time and talent created a spontaneous celebration on the street. It was incredible that in that moment of disappointment, we still managed to share some joy and an amazing New York City moment together.

However, something like this is a nightmare for a small organization like Soho Rep. The financial success of the gala depends on the auction and cash call that happens live. The company expected to raise $65,000 in the room on Monday but didn’t have the chance to, leaving a significant gap.

I’m part of the Soho Rep Family. If you’re reading this, I hope you feel that you are too. I have made a gift today to help them through this uniquely difficult moment. I humbly ask that you join me by doing the same. It’s not a tragedy that this happened. No one was hurt, thankfully. But they really need your help. We can never get back the evening that we lost, but we can together make sure Soho Rep does not hurt for it. Thank you!

Daniel Aukin


P.S. For more photos and a full recap of the evening click here.

soho rep gala pic

One thought on “Note from Daniel Aukin after Gala Evacuation

  1. Karin Leslie Greene |

    Dear Daniel,

    What a beautiful letter you’ve written and I wholeheartedly agree. You led Soho Rep with passion and vision working hand in hand with Jon to lead Soho Rep back to the forefront of innovative theatre and you passed on to Sarah a true “hothouse” of creativity. Jon and Sarah have continued to nurture and grow Soho Rep and the work continues to amaze, impress and impact us all. I’m sad to have missed the gala the last few years but will continue to support the beautiful gift which is Soho Rep. Thank you all!
    With deep appreciation,

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