New Shoes Theatre Company
Software Donation Saves Theater Company from Tragic End
New Shoes Theatre Company produces provocative plays by and about women that confront social and environmental issues. The nonprofit company is based in Kent, England but performs throughout the UK. In addition to presenting plays, New Shoes also conducts educational workshops, especially tailored for hard-to-reach young people who have been excluded from school. Despite New Shoes' success, artistic director Nicolette Kay was faced with the prospect of closing the company because of the difficulty of running a small nonprofit on a shoestring budget. The main obstacle was administration. Since the organization was centered in Kent, it was difficult to translate the goodwill of people in London into practical help. In the end, the work was simply exhausting.
But New Shoes' story has a happy ending, thanks to a donation of Huddle software by Charity Technology Exchange, the IT donations program of Technology Trust, TechSoup's global partner in the UK. Huddle's collaborative software enables New Shoes to securely manage projects, share files, and collaborate with people inside and outside the company. Although still physically based in Kent, Nicolette now maintains a Huddle office that allows her to work with a virtual network of supporters and trustees wherever they are based. Along with an assistant in London, New Shoes has trustees as far away as Edinburgh and artists based all over the world. CTX and Huddle have given Nicolette a new lease on life, enabling her to concentrate on the end product — compelling theater, rather than getting bogged down in the administrative grind.