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It’s a sad story: Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company closes

March 17, 2012

Filed under: Comic Relief,Vancouver — Richard Morrison @ 5:58 pm
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What is the Playhouse Theatre Company?

It is one of Vancouver’s old and highly esteemed theatre companies. Among Canada’s oldest fifteen big regional theatre companies, the Playhouse is one. The Playhouse had staged performances for the last 49 years in Vancouver’s west downtown. Its 50th anniversary was to be celebrated this year.

Why did it shut down?

It has planned to shut down due to acute financial crisis. Their final performance was on last Saturday.

Who made the announcement?

The board chairman Jeff Schultz announced this on last Friday. The decision was taken after an emergency meeting.

What were the reasons of the closure?

Schultz said that the company’s debt was almost $1 million despite it received around $1million from city council only last year. Therefore,it was very difficult for them to continue with their work in that situation of crisis. This year it had sought $657,920 grant for rent from the city. However, it was granted only $500,000 which was not enough.

Who attended the conference where this announcement was made?

Around one hundred theatre personalities including actors, directors, and their own employees attended the conference, which took place at the Playhouse Theatre, where this announcement was made. The Board Chairman said he was not only sad but also disappointed at the turn of events. But, he mentioned that everybody would surely remember the playhouse in future.

What was their last performance?

The goth-musical Hunchback, co-produced by Catalyst Theatre, was the last performance performed by the Vancouver East Playhouse.

Who are going to be affected by this shutdown?

The company’s plan to shutdown will affect some 15 full time employees. This closure will also bring loss to the local theatre community by
$ 2.9 million per year that was spent on costumes and props, fees of actors and directors, lightings, and set design.

Is there any chance of their revival?

Schulz said that it would take a million dollars of money to get the Playhouse going and also another half a million dollars of money in each of the subsequent years for it to run successfully.

May you rest in peace, wonderful Vancouver Playhouse. You gave us many years of wonderful performances.

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