Florida's Caldwell Theatre Company Hit With Foreclosure Lawsuit

News   Florida's Caldwell Theatre Company Hit With Foreclosure Lawsuit
Caldwell Theatre Company in Boca Raton, FL, is "reviewing various options of reorganization" in light of its mortgage lender's $6 million foreclosure lawsuit, artistic director Clive Cholerton said, adding that the resident Equity theatre is not discussing or considering Chapter 7 bankruptcy or liquidation.

The Palm Beach Post reported on Feb. 14 that Legacy Bank of Florida claims in a suit in Palm Beach County Circuit Court that Caldwell has failed to repay two notes totaling nearly $6 million in debt on its new venue, the Count de Hoernle Theatre.

"During this process we have held lengthy talks and discussions with our lender Legacy Bank wherein we believed to have reached an agreement in principle," Cholerton said in an email to Playbill.com. "It is our understanding that the foreclosure filing is simply a step in the process for them and we remain confident an agreement will be reached." Caldwell "continues to operate and will be opening its next show, Working, as planned," he said. "Moreover we are actively planning for next season."

The Orlando Sentinel reported Feb. 15 that Caldwell's bankruptcy attorney Bradley Shraiberg said the company could seek Chapter 11 reorganization this week or next.

"It is the theatre's absolute intention to honor all subscriptions and continue operating seamlessly," Shraiberg told the paper.

Cholerton directs the musical Working, featuring a Florida cast, for a Feb. 26-April 1 run. He said in a production note, "What drew me to the piece was the extent to which the material really celebrates the American worker. In this period of high unemployment, it is so refreshing to hear this music which is so emotionally engaging and I think even further hints at the rebirth that we seem to be on the verge of." In 2007, Countess Henrietta de Hoernle made a pledge of $1 million toward the ongoing construction of a new home for Caldwell Theatre Company. The pledge "will be the pace-setting gift of a $7 million capital campaign that will soon be launched to complete financing of the theatre just north of its present location."

The Countess, a long-time friend of the resident company, then referred to Caldwell Theatre Company as "the pride of Boca Raton." Caldwell named the new facility The Count de Hoernle Theatre, in honor of the Countess' late husband Adolph.

For more information, visit www.caldwelltheatre.com.

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