7 On Your Side helps Union City High School theater program in online box office battle

Nina Pineda Image
Wednesday, June 26, 2024
7 On Your Side helps high school theater program in box office battle
Nina Pineda reports on hundreds of dollars in heater sales missing after a local high school got ghosted by its online box office for two years.

UNION CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Hundreds of dollars in theater sales were missing after a local high school got ghosted by its online box office for two years.

The melting pot of Union City High School is filled to the brim with talent.

Its theater program has won ovations and awards.

The last Shakespeare adaptation it performed sold out every single show.

"We made it immersive. We brought the audience on stage. We gender-swapped. It was limited tickets so the online ticket sales are very important because tickets are going fast," said Anthony Gusevich, Theater Director.

Gusevich's last 27 productions have been so successful the school started using an online box office called Brown Paper Tickets.

"We've done 'Urinetown,' 'Never Never Land,' 'Peter Pan,'" he said.

Each of the last 15 shows was paid by the ticket agency without delay, until the Scottish play, which in theatre circles is always cursed.

"The money that was owed to us was the most money we've made through that website ever," Gusevich said.

Minus the handling fees, they were owed $1,420 profit, but then the site suddenly went dark.

"It said the number was out of service, and there was no email," he said.

"How long have they had this money?" 7 On Your Side's Nina Pineda asked.

"Since December 2020, years ago," Gusevich said.

Those funds go towards props costumes and student field trips to Broadway.

No one emailed him back.

7 On Your Side put the spotlight on Brown Paper Tickets and the very next morning, this hardworking theater teacher and actor finally got his callback.

"They immediately sent an email," he said.

They got the box office returns, a lump sum of $1,420 in ticket sale profits.

Parent company events.com said it continues to assist Brown Paper Tickets to pay the remaining event organizers such as Gusevich's high school theater group.

Events.com said it successfully disbursed over $75 million to event organizers worldwide.

All delayed payments were completed no later than the end of June 2024, the company said.

"Thank you so much 7 On Your Side, because what you're doing is for the kids of Union City and a lot of aspiring actors," Gusevich said.

7 On Your Side also asked Brown Paper Tickets how many other organizations were owed, but did not get an answer.

Research a company before trusting them with fundraising or ticket sales.

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