Spring production theater forced to shutter

Updated Aug. 30

Texas Repertory Theatre, located on Stuebner Airline Road, is closed.

The board of directors at Texas Repertory Theatre voted unanimously to close the 11-year-old theater, citing financial reasons.

“A lot of people worked very hard since it began, to keep the theater going,” said Bob Hughes, Texas Repertory Theatre board president. “But it just wasn’t enough to make up for the reduced attendance.”

Subscriptions were down 50 percent this year from last year, Hughes said. Two expected endowments totaling $50,000 also fell through.

“When you pull that money out with the lack of season support—the truth was the numbers had diminished to such an extent that it was not sustainable,” he said.

Texas Repertory Theatre produced many shows throughout the 11 years it was open, such as “The Odd Couple,” “Of Mice and Men” and “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

The closure is a result of a failure of the board of directors, said Steven Fenley, Texas Repertory, Theatre artistic director.

“The Texas Rep survived and thrived because of the outstanding quality of our productions and because of the incredible contributions of those in the trenches—our actors, designers, volunteers and our incredibly loyal season ticket holders,” he said.

He said most theaters rely on box office revenue to provide less than half of the operating expenses for theater operations, and the board of trustees is relied upon to raise any additional funds necessary to maintain operations.

Most of the board put up between $5,000 and $20,000 throughout the past few months to save the theater, board member Larry Lipton said. But theater is art and business combined.

“It’s like any other product,” he said. “If the public didn’t want to buy the product enough to keep it solvent, then the product wasn’t what the greater community wanted.”