The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company announced today that it will be closing its curtains for the very last time on Saturday night after a final production of Hunchback.
From The Vancouver Sun:
The announcement was made Friday by the board chair, who said the decision was made at 4 a.m. after an emergency board meeting. “I’m overwhelmed by a sense of loss,” artistic managing director Max Reimer said at a press conference, which is continuing.
“The Playhouse will be remembered,” he told a crowd that included employees, actors, theatre directors and members of Vancouver’s theatre community.
It received a $1-million bailout last September by city council. The Playhouse had sought a $657,920 rental grant from the city this year but was granted only $500,000.
Last year, the city considered restructuring the lease the company has for the city-owned 650-seat Playhouse Theatre, which is part of the Queen Elizabeth Theatre complex. Reimer said the company has almost $1 million in debt and 15 full-time employees. He said the loss to the theatre community will be about $2.9 million a year, which was spent on actors fees, set design, props and costumes.
The Vancouver Playhouse’s first production was Brendan Behan’s The Hostage on October 2, 1963. It presented its first original Canadian play, Eric Nicol’s Like Father, Like Fun, in 1965. [Source: Vancouver History]
The Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival, one of North America’s most celebrated wine events, just wrapped up last week. Tickets may still be available for the 2:00pm and 8:00pm performances of Hunchback on Saturday before this 50-year old company takes a final bow.