Pasadena Playhouse Will Shut Down; Bankruptcy Eyed

News   Pasadena Playhouse Will Shut Down; Bankruptcy Eyed
Pasadena Playhouse, the State Theatre of California, announced on Jan. 29 that it will shutter Feb. 7 after the run of Camelot. But the not-for-profit's leaders intend "to explore viable options of financial reorganization, including bankruptcy."

A solution is being sought for a future life for the 93-year-old operation, which has been committed to revivals and new works.

"We firmly believe it would be irresponsible to continue to operate in the same financial patterns of the past," said Stephen Eich, Pasadena Playhouse's executive director. "Out of respect to the Playhouse's venerable history, our loyal subscribers, and the many individuals, donors, businesses, government agencies, and others who have demonstrated their support for our efforts, we intend to meet this challenge head-on with strong fiscal oversight and transparency."

"Pasadena Playhouse is vital to our cultural community and for the state of California," said Michele Dedeaux Engemann, Pasadena Playhouse board chair. "In an effort to solve the financial realities of the theatre, the board concurs that the difficult financial circumstances of the Playhouse require an aggressive recovery strategy. We wholeheartedly support this decision."

Despite aggressive efforts, including staff and budget cuts, Pasadena Playhouse has been unable to solve its financial predicament, according to the statement. The inability to identify a major donor to name the auditorium, the absence of significant corporate underwriting, and the economy have collectively contributed to this financial situation.

Pasadena Playhouse was established in 1917. In recent years, the Playhouse has launched new works and notable revivals. Highlights since 2005 include the launch of the national tour of Purlie (with the Goodman Theatre), the world premiere of Sister Act the Musical (with the Alliance Theatre, which is now in its eighth month in the West End), the world premiere of Ray Charles Live! (scheduled to open on Broadway in 2010), and the world premiere of Looped starring Valerie Harper (scheduled to open on Broadway this spring). The current production is a revised revival of the large-cast musical Camelot. This version has eight actors.


Exterior of Pasadena Playhouse
Exterior of Pasadena Playhouse
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