The City Theatre Company, Austin: The Final Gist
THE CITY THEATRE COMPANY
The Final Gist (at least on this issue.) Let’s get right to it…
City Theatre friends, fans, patrons, stakeholders, and community members.
So…news on the venue issue?
Yes, and it’s not what we had hoped. On August 21, 2019, we officially relinquished the space at 3823 Airport Blvd. This was a very difficult decision that we came to after over 10 months of constant striving to re-open and resume productions in the space. Needless to say, there was definitely some sadness as we said goodbye to what had been our home for almost 13 years.
Ultimately, we just ran out of time. You may remember from our earlier emails that we had initially worked out an agreement with our landlord to not have to pay rent while we addressed the City of Austin code compliance issues that had shut us down in the first place. Our landlord had also agreed to be responsible for any code issues that were not “specific to running a theatre.” We’ll spare you the details (we like to keep our drama on the stage), but our (now former) landlord notified us at the beginning of July that the aforementioned arrangement would no longer be in tact going forward. His decision left us with two options: 1) start paying our regular market rent for a space that we couldn’t currently use to produce theatre or 2) negotiate a permanent exit from that venue. At the point, the choice was obvious.
That’s too bad.
It is. But also? Honestly...it was time. We loved our little home and fought with all we could to keep it, but the place had been a less-than-ideal fit for a few years now. The parking situation wasn’t great. The lack of bathrooms caused longer than necessary intermissions. If you’ve been to show in the summer, you know the theatre had trouble cooling off from the Texas heat. And there were plenty of landlord/neighbor…let’s say, incompatibilities (again, stuff we don’t need to get in here.) We cherished our space, and it was good to us for a long time. But all good things must come to an end.
Simply put, we go forward. We’ve always said that City Theatre is more than just a building. We’re a community of artists, dedicated to bringing world-class theatre to the Austin community. That hasn’t changed. We just have to do our art in some other locations now. Our space was unexpectedly shut down by the City of Austin Code Department on October 3, 2018. Even while facing the difficulties of trying to re-open, we forged on producing shows. We’re extremely proud of the fact that did six multi-weekend productions in various venues since last October. Plans are already underway to continue as a “traveling” company, only now we have some experience in that area and are able to put our full focus. You should see some announcements about upcoming productions very soon. And a special note to our incredible season ticket holders: any season tickets purchased for the 2018-2019 season will be honored for any City Theatre productions through September 2020. It’s our sincere “thank you” for being patient with us while we faced some serious adversity over the past year.
Of course, the ultimate goal is to find a new permanent home for our little theatre. Now that we’ve wrapped up the saga of the Airport Blvd. location, we are turning our focus to an all-out location search. If you know of any prospective venues for our theatre, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
So, that’s that, huh?
One more thing: Thank you. Words cannot accurately express the gratitude we have for the outpouring of support from our City Theatre family. Financially speaking, the community really stepped with our fundraising campaign. We’re happy to report that we were able to extract ourselves from the lease situation at our old home without sacrificing the reserves we were able to communicate thanks to your generosity. Without those resources, we likely wouldn’t exist as anything more than an idea. it would be difficult to continue and almost impossible to find a new home. Those donations, as promised in our campaign, will go to the new City Theatre.
But in addition to the money, it’s difficult to express just how awe-inspiring the emotional and moral support from everyone has been. We were just so busy producing show after show that we probably didn’t fully realize how important City Theatre was to so many people. You all showed us in ways that warmed the depths of our souls and made the stress of the whole situation bearable. You made us want make sure that the show goes on. “Thanks” is not enough, but it will be the gratitude we offer for now. At least until we see you at the next show.
The City Theatre Company
A little theatre in your life…always!