Palo Alto's youngest actors will continue to participate in Children Theatre productions free of charge in exchange for a $35,000 donation from the theater's support group under a contract the City Council will weigh Monday night.
The deal would formalize an agreement the council made with the group Friends of the Palo Alto Children's Theatre last spring, when council members were considering instituting performance fees for theater participants to help plug the city's budget deficit. The fees would have been between $50 and $300.
The proposal dismayed theater staff and members of the Friends group, who claimed the new fee would discourage children from low-income families from participating. The council ultimately agreed not to institute the fee after the group agreed to contribute $35,000 to the city.
According to the support agreement, the group would contribute its one-time donation to the city in four installments between September 2010 and June 2011. The city would pledge not to institute "any participant fees or their equivalent for usage of the Theater."
The agreement would be in place until June 30, 2011, and will be renegotiated annually. The Friends group had already approved it.