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Interplayers faces financial crunch

Wed., April 10, 2013

New season slate needs $150,000 to go forward

Interplayers Theatre announced its 2013-14 season Tuesday night, with a significant hitch: The nonprofit professional theater company must raise $150,000 by May 31 or else it will shut its doors.

Artistic director Reed McColm told supporters the company has been on an upswing in recent years. As of a year ago, Interplayers is debt-free, he said. There is a new roof and a new lobby, and new programs such as the Interludes concerts are bringing in audiences who otherwise wouldn’t come to the theater.

“Creatively, we are in an upswing,” he said. “I believe we can go further still.”

The 33-year-old theater has struggled financially for several years. Last year, arts patrons Jerry and Patty Dicker bought out the mortgage on Interplayers’ building at 174 S. Howard St., leasing it back to the theater company. That allowed Interplayers to stage this most recent season.

Still, the financial situation is precarious. The company spends $20,000 a month, beyond the costs of producing plays, to keep the doors open. And members of the executive team, McColm included, have not been paid in several months.

“We have no cushion,” McColm said.

Interplayers is selling subscriptions to the 2013-14 season but will not process orders until June 1, so if the theater closes patrons will not lose their money.

The season McColm hopes to stage is a combination of classics and some edgier fare. The eight plays are:

• “Brighton Beach Memoirs” by Neil Simon, directed by Michael Weaver, Sept. 5-29.

• “Never the Sinner” by John Logan, directed by Ken Urso, Oct. 24-Nov. 9.

• “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder, directed by and adapted for a six-person cast by McColm, Dec. 5-29.

• “Good People” by David Lindsay-Abaire, directed by Jack Bentz, Jan. 23-Feb. 8.

• “Barrymore” by William Luce, directed by Mary Starkey and starring Patrick Treadway, Feb. 27-March 15.

• “Wait Until Dark” by Frederick Knott, April 3-19.

• “Putting it Together,” a Stephen Sondheim musical revue, directed by Weaver, May 8-June 1.

• “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare, directed by Jeff Sanders and done in collaboration with Eastern Washington University, July 17-27.

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