Stage Raw: Economic Downturn Hits CTG
Highways' Fringes -- Margins -- Borders performance festival. See item
below. Photo by Heather Carducci
IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF TIME BEFORE THE DOWNTURN HIT THE NON-PROFITS
The press office at the Mark Taper Forum announced yesterday that the theater's scheduled production of Martin McDonagh's dark comedy, The Lieutenant of Inishmore, -- slated for this summer - is being postponed until the 2010 season. This is part of a national trend of postponements and cancellations that are a consequence of the economic downturn. This was all alluded to in a Theatre Communications Group report, the details of which were posted on Crain's NY Biz via Playgoer.
"More than three-quarters of nonprofit theaters are being forced to alter their budgets this year because of the worsening economy, a new study found.
"Theatre Communications Group, an organization that promotes non-profit theater companies, surveyed 210 theaters in January. A full 77% of those polled said they were laying off administrative staff, freezing salaries, cutting travel or discounting tickets to help get through the downturn.
"Nearly 60% of the theaters said they expected to have cash flow
problems this year, and 20% have had to reduce the number of their
performances. The majority of groups are preparing for next year with
caution: 55% are decreasing their budget from this season . . . "
Locally, the Taper will be dark through July and August.
"This is a decision that fits the economic times we're all going
through," said Center Theatre Group's artistic director, Michael
Ritchie. "We are acting prudently by postponing The Lieutenant of Inishmore
to a new fiscal year. This will allow us to ensure the quality
production that this important play deserves without jeopardizing our
"Having said that, we should also make it clear that CTG is not in
financial trouble. This is a stable organization and we are planning
ahead to make sure that we keep it that way."
Taper season ticket holders will be given a credit on their CTG
account that they can use toward the purchase of tickets at all three
CTG theatres or they can receive a refund.
FRINGES - MARGINS -- BORDERS
That's the name of a "radical new works performance project" at Highways, 1651 18th Street, in Santa Monica; Fri.-Sat., March 6-7, 8:30 p.m. and Sun., March 8, 3 p.m.
Performers include L.A.'s Queer Exchange (Deadlee, Ian MacKinnon,
Saleem and Scoptt Turner Schofield, plus San Francisco artists
Stephanie Cooper, Sean Dorsey Dance and Gigi Otalvaro-Hormillosa.
International Theater Exchange Program presents Raffaello Sanzio - Blue
in the Face Theatre of Rome in the American premiere of Enrico Mario
Falconi's poetic drama Camping, about a group of hikers who
journey into the mountains becomes a metaphor for "for self-knowledge
and awareness and the mountain itself becomes a sanctuary." 1211 4th
Street, Santa Monica, Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 26-28, 8 p.m. (310) 395.9779.
Camping Photo by Luca Damiani
LETTERS TO A STUDENT REVOLUTIONARY
On February 28, 8 p.m. and March 1, 3 & 7:30 p.m., a benefit
performance of Eliabeth Wong's play, commemorating the Tiananmen Square
Massacre, will be presented at the National Center for the Preservation
of Democracy, 111 North Central Avenue, downtown. A panel discussion
with human rights activists and scholars will follow the March 1
matinee performance.$20 (310) 594-3068. More info here
PUPPET UP! UNCENSORED
At your fingertips: This week's THEATER FEATURE on Cynthia Silver's Bridezilla Strikes Back! and Stormy Weather's Musical Director, Linda Twine; the 30th annual L.A. Weekly Theater Awards NOMINEES; and where to PURCHASE tickets.
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