The San Jose Repertory Theatre company announced today that it has ceased operations and is filing for bankruptcy. The 34-year-old organization has been struggling with financial issues for a number of years.
“We deeply regret having to take this action because of the impact it will have on our 51 employees, the artists we work with each season, our season ticket holders, loyal patrons and generous donors and supporters,” said Holly Walter, president of the San Jose Rep’s board of trustees. “We also regret the impact on the city of San Jose and the local arts community. However, after months of trying to solve our financial issues, reduce our debts and construct a sustainable model for the organization, we felt we had no choice but to take this action.”
There were signs that the theatre company could shut down last year, when a 2012 audit was released and showed that the Rep’s financial situation needed to improve, especially after the effects of 2008 recession on its income. The impact of the recession hit the theater when it was still recovering from a brush with insolvency in 2006, which it snapped back from thanks to a $2 million loan from the City of San Jose.
After the media reported on the audit, the company shot back at the claims of its financial problems with a press release stating that “The Rep is here to stay!”
“The Rep’s trustees are fully confident in our executive leadership’s ability to continue to manage through these difficult times, and has put plans in place to raise the additional funds needed to gain greater long-term fiscal stability,” said the release.
The San Jose Mercury News reported last night on rumors about the theater’s fate and noted that other South Bay organizations are experiencing similar struggles.
“Ballet San Jose has suffered many a fiscal crisis. Shakespeare Santa Cruz went under last year and then managed to come back to life. American Musical Theatre of San Jose perished in 2008,” reported the Mercury News.
We will report back when we learn more.