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Friday January 19, 2018
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Backstage Drama



was about to turn off the lights.

The board voted: they would darken the theater before DTE did. The next morning, the board told staff members to clean out their desks. By three o'clock, they had changed the locks, and nobody at PNT--not even the cast of Richard III, scheduled to perform that night--could enter the building.

Why did the theater close so abruptly? A couple of years ago, PNT threatened to shut down, and supporters came through with donations. Why didn't the board put out an SOS this time? Two grants that would generate $40,000 were expected the week after the decision to close. What happened?

As the news spread through the theater community, theories abounded:

  • The large-cast production of Richard III was bleeding money. Cast members had offered free tickets to Facebook friends. Several board members had personally guaranteed loans and donated funds. Were they reluctant to put up more cash?
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