A standing room only
Armed with a 12-page pamphlet on the theater’s history and current standing (and, I couldn’t help but notice, preceded by Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” playing over the lecture hall’s speakers) Board Chair Ruth Shepherd guided the crowd through the developments to come for a “reimagined Rep.”
The timing of the talk was a little poetic; this week would have been
Most immediately, The Rep will sell the 16-unit Peachtree Apartments it owns on East Sixth Street, which it used to house acting talent from outside the state. That
“For years,” Shepherd said, “we staged [one] show to pay for the next show, but for the last few years, we’ve staged [shows] to pay for the last show,” and described a precarious few seasons in which an ice storm — and the loss of a few performances — could do irreparable damage to the company’s annual budget.
What will take the place of the Peachtree Apartments? Rector says it’s not off the table for the theater to consider contracting with one of many new housing developments in the area, or even to partner with patrons for the use of private, temporary guest housing. As far as options for reviving The Rep, the
What might that include? Kimmel noted that the board will hold “community conversations” in which it listens to local actors in community
Later this summer, the Interim Leadership’s Team will re-open the
Since the suspension in April and subsequent rallying on the parts of patrons and community, The Rep has raised $275,455 which, when matched by challenge grants from the Windgate and Robyn & John Horn Foundations, will come out to about half a million, leaving The Rep $150,000 shy of the $750,000 the theatre company says it needs to “get back to even,” Shepherd said. After that, the board will continue the campaign it began in 2016 to raise an additional $2.5 million to “create an operating reserve, pay off property debt and an operating deficit.”
A video projector played a short montage of quotes from “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Hamlet,” “Les Miserables” and other stage staples, ending with a single light illuminating a dark
“We expect to have a plan for our next season by mid- to late August,” Shepherd said. And, Shepherd relayed a quote from Cliff Baker, former artistic director and current interim leadership team member Cliff, who had intimated via email that audiences “can expect smaller, more intimate and community-centric” performances.