Madison Repertory Theatre will not be performing at the Overture Center for the Arts next season.
The deadline for reserving performance space for the 2009-10 season was Sunday, March 1. The financially troubled theater company did not reserve space, and it is now too late for it to schedule a season.
"It's a very sad day," said Overture spokesman Robert Chappell. "We'll do what we can to fill that space. The Playhouse will still be home to live professional theater."
The Rep's producing artistic director, Trevin Gay, is on vacation and could not be reached for comment. He and an accountant are the only remaining paid staff.
The Rep is roughly $500,000 in debt. Its production of My Fair Lady is canceled. The company had hoped to present its New Play Festival and reschedule True West this season. So far the company has not scheduled either.
When the Rep essentially ceased production it lost financial support provided by Overture's Great Performance fund, which is managed by the Madison Community Foundation.
A January fund drive netted nearly $50,000, enough to get the Rep through its last production, Bus Stop. Box office proceeds were claimed by Overture, which will not disclose how much it is owed by the Rep.
The Rep has several loans with M&I Bank, including a $150,000 credit line and a $200,000 guaranteed loan. The theater also has around $100,000 in payables, as well as subscriber liabilities -- the cost of tickets already purchased.
Overture is offering a refund for those who purchased Rep tickets through the Overture box office, along with an opportunity to get free tickets to a handful of Overture Presents shows, including Cirque Eloize, the Mayhem Poets and the Ahn Trio.
It is unknown whether the Rep's status as an Overture resident company will continue. That decision can only be made by the Madison Cultural Arts District board, which governs Overture.
There's precedent for a resident company taking time off without sacrificing its resident status. For example, Children's Theater of Madison suspended operations in 2006 while it raised funds and reorganized.
"It's an important part of our mandate to have professional theater here," says Chappell. "We hope they come back."