Students Agree to Pay Taxes on Play Earnings
Children's Theatre Gain Called Illegal
Two College students and a Radcliffe undergraduate who netted $312 apiece on this year's University Children's Theatre production of "Alice in Wonderland" agreed at a special meeting yesterday to pay income and admissions taxes on that part of their profits earned in Radcliffe's Agassiz Theatre.
This action came after Radcliffe officials discovered that the show was not a Harvard Dramatic Club production, as they had believed, to make money only for future shows and ultimately working toward funds for a University theatre. Use of Agassiz to make a personal profit is illegal and endangers the College's tax-free status.
Other University organizations and supporters of the production charged that the Children's Theatre had misrepresented itself as a non-profit group working for a University theatre, in order to obtain aid.
Hasty Pudding Theatricals gave the Children's Theatre "costumes, scenery, anything else they wanted, free under the impression--which the group failed to correct--that they were going to direct their profits toward a Harvard theatre," Robert F. Ballard '56, president of the Theatricals, said.
"After we found we'd unexpectedly made so much money, we told the Pudding we'd pay for the equipment they gave us," a Children's Theatre spokesman stated.
"I assumed that the Children's Theatre was an H.D.C. group and that all profits would go back into the till for future productions," Radcliffe Dean of Residence Emily B. Lacey '49 said yesterday. Through Dean Lacey the Children's Theatres arranged for the use of Agassiz for only the expense of a janitor and utilities.
This misconception was partly due to the inclusion of the H.D.C.'s name on the Children's Theatre posters. This mention was a mistake, the Children's Theatre group admits. The two organizations have always been legally separate.
After the director and the two producers of the show realized that they had made over $300 apiece, they scheduled two additional performances in Agassiz with all the profits to go the cast. An estimated 26 people thereby received $3.25 each.
The two co-producers had invested a total of $95 in the show.