Evanston's Next Theatre Company Faces Eviction
Due to its failure to keep up with rent payments for the past two years, Evanston's Next Theatre will be forced to relinquish its space in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center. Since the theatre is indebted for over $76,000, city officials will be holding a meeting today to "authorize enforcement" of the collection of the deficit. According to the Chicago Tribune, the council will also discuss plans to decline renewal of the theatre lease when expires in May 2015.
Read the original article from the Chicago Tribune here.
Next Theatre, an Equity company, has unfortunately been struggling monetarily for some time now. Next has been working out of the Noyes Center for over 30 years, and if it cannot clear its debt with ticket sales for its upcoming productions, 2014-2015 will likely be its last season in Evanston's 190-seat theatre.
Joe McRae, Evanston's director of parks, recreation and community services, and Christina Ferraro, assistant director of community services, issued a memo to members of Evanston's Human Services Committee concerning the fate of Next Theatre. In the memo, McRae and Ferraro said that "despite city staff efforts to work with the tenant on repayment of the debt, a suitable repayment plan and payment of rent going forward cannot be achieved."
Next Board of Directors Chairman Rob Andalman also commented. He said, "The slow rebound from the economic downturn over the past few years has taken its toll on the theater, particularly this past season when we had shows up during the most bitter cold spells. As it is has in the past when hard times have come, the theater looks to our patrons, audience members and community for the help that will be necessary to right the ship."
Next's 34th season is "Heros and Villains" themed, consisting of four distinguished shows: Luce, Richard III, Turtle, and Kiladelphia.
For more information, visit http://www.nexttheatre.org.