San Diego Repertory Theatre to suspend productions as of June 19; working to identify fiscally viable future
June 8, 2022
Solutions are being sought to secure the future of San Diego Repertory Theatre, which has produced intimate, provocative, inclusive theatre for 46 years, and been a key fixture of the San Diego arts community and the national theatre landscape.
San Diego REP is canceling the remaining scheduled productions in 2022 and has had to lay off all staff as of June 19. Multiple factors contributed to this course of action, including financial issues, significant funding that did not actualize, the challenges of operating theatres and bringing audiences into a building underneath an active construction site, low ticket sales amidst the pandemic, as well as the need to restructure.
This includes the cancellation of upcoming productions Twelfth Night, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Grand Master Funk and some Jewish Arts Festival events (detailed below).
The San Diego REP Board of Trustees and leadership are actively working to identify solutions and explore viable options for financial restructuring, including potential bankruptcy reorganization, with the intention to rebuild a sustainable future for the REP.
Abigail Buell, San Diego REP Managing Director, said: "Today, we are at an inflection point. We are suspending operations so we can hopefully move through this challenging time toward a new, financially viable future for the company, while honoring the REP’s deeply-held mission to produce diverse, socially-conscious theatre of exceptional quality.
“In recent times, San Diego REP has been subject to financial stressors and extraordinary challenges including major flooding of our theatre, operating amidst an active construction zone, and a substantial loss of income as a result of the pandemic. A large amount of funding from several sources did not actualize, and we have not been able to identify major donors at this time. These events have accelerated the REP to an untenable situation. We cannot continue to operate in the same financial model of the past.
“Out of respect for our wonderful staff, our loyal donors, subscribers and ticket holders, and the many stakeholders, government agencies and volunteers that have shown enormous support for the REP, we intend to rise to the challenge with strong fiscal strategy, transparency and the necessary restructuring.”
Dr. Larry Cousins, San Diego REP Chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “San Diego REP and its singular voice is vital to our cultural community in San Diego, the state of California and the fabric of the national theatre industry.
“When Sam Woodhouse co-founded the REP in 1976, he wanted to create theatre that spoke courageously and adventurously. For over four decades, the REP has succeeded in presenting innovative, stimulating, boundary-pushing work, and an abundance of community engagement initiatives. The REP has become a celebrated regional company that makes unforgettable and unique art audiences won’t see anywhere else. Time and time again our audiences tell us that what sets the REP apart is not just its memorable theatre works – it’s the sense of community that does not exist elsewhere.
“In an effort to correct the course and overcome this financial crisis, the board of trustees agrees that the REP needs to suspend operations while we dedicate time to work toward a sustainable future.”
Sam Woodhouse, San Diego REP Artistic Director, said: “The suspension of operations by San Diego REP is a sad day in the history of the company. But this moment in time also calls for a 360-degree, arms-wide-open thank you and bravo to the hundreds of theatre professionals who made 333 productions in the 46-year history of the REP. These productions' legacy of creative achievement is profound and lasting. Standing side-by-side these passionate artists and craftspeople are the enlightened San Diego REP audiences. I am equally grateful to these insatiably curious San Diegans who have inspired all of us at the REP to reach for a higher ground.
“Our goal is to bring the REP back stronger, to continue making provocative, progressive theatre, and we’re working toward this future.”
INFORMATION FOR TICKET HOLDERS
Ticket holders will be contacted by the REP on or before Friday, June 10 by email in regards to their options. Canceled events include:
Ticket holders will be contacted by the REP by email with further information.
- Twelfth Night
- Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
- Grand Master Funk
- In Every Generation (cancellation previously announced)
- The Art of Shtisel
- Joel Grey’s Favorite Plays
- “A World to Come,” part of The Whole Megillah play festival
- “Shanghai,” part of The Whole Megillah play festival
- Angelina Reaux Sings the Love Songs of Kurt Weill
While the REP will be suspending its productions, the Lyceum Theatre will continue to host other community and theatrical events.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
- Hershey Felder’s Sing-Along – will be relocated to another venue
- Hershey Felder’s Music in the Ghetto of Venice – will go ahead as planned, with tickets administered by Hershey Felder Productions
If you'd like to support the future of the Rep and the goal to rebuild, you can make a tax deductible charitable contribution. Click here to donate.
Read the story in the Union-Tribune here.
Board of Trustees and Vice President, J. Walcher Communications
Venue booking inquiries
Executive Director, Horton Plaza Theatres Foundation
ABOUT SAN DIEGO REPERTORY THEATRE
San Diego Repertory Theatre (San Diego REP) produces intimate, provocative and inclusive theatre. Founded in 1976, San Diego Repertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting an interconnected community through vivid works that nourish progressive political and social values and celebrates the multiple voices of our region. The company produces and hosts over 550 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, The REP has produced 54 main stage productions by Latino playwrights, and more than 45 world premieres. The company has received more than 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented The REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” San Diego Repertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. Visit www.sdrep.org and @SanDiegoREP.