San Jose Repertory Theatre Announces Closure, Marking Another Loss for Bay Area Arts

By Carey Purcell
June 12, 2014

San Jose Repertory Theatre, the 34-year-old flagship repertory theatre of the Bay Area's largest city, announced that it is closing its doors and filing for bankruptcy, SFGate.com reports.



"We deeply regret having to take this action because of the impact it will have on our 51 employees, the artists we work with each season, our season ticket holders, loyal patrons and generous donors and supporters," Holly Walter, president of the San Jose Rep's board of trustees, told SFGate.com. "We also regret the impact on the city of San Jose and the local arts community."

San Jose Rep had produced a seven-play season each year, including world and West Coast premieres and co-productions with other major companies.

The theatre came close to closing in 2006; then-interim managing director Nick Nichols and the board arranged a $2 million bailout line of credit with the city. The bailout was later converted into a long-term loan, at a time when the company's budget was $5 million.

San Jose Rep was scheduled to open its 2014-15 season in late August with the world premiere of the rock musical The 12, by Robert Schenkkan. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Schenkkan's history play All The Way won the Tony Award for Best Play.

"It was a cash-on-hand problem," San Jose Rep board vice president Paul Resch told SFGate.com. "We simply ran out of sources for contributions, and we tried as many as we could. As with any professional theater company, ticket sales are never enough to pay for what we do and we have to rely on foundations, corporations and individual donors to make up the difference."

The closure marks another struggle by a prominent arts organization in the area. San Francisco's Intersection for the Arts has furloughed half its staff and has developed a new business and programming model. Shakespeare Santa Cruz was closed by UC Santa Cruz in September but has revived itself as the independent Santa Cruz Shakespeare and will open a two-play season July 5.

Following San Jose Rep's closure, TheatreWorks, which stages its season in Mountain View and Palo Alto, is the only major repertory company in South Bay.

Visit sjrep.com for more information.