New Broadway Team Takes Over Bucks County Playhouse
After the resignation of owner/producer Ralph Miller, the Bucks County Playhouse will be officially taken over by a slew of theatre professionals and notable New Hope residents. The takeover of the 450-seat venue occurs after recently being repossesed by Stonebridge bank. Renovation plans are in store for the historic theatre, which will be headed by the newly developed Bucks County Playhouse Conservancy.
Broadway producer Jed Bernstien told the Philadelphia Inquirer, "The entire theater community was aghast at the idea of permanently losing this legendary venue and picturesque piece of theater history. The Bucks County Playhouse has truly been reborn."
Preservation Society founder and Doylestown resident Peggy McRae told the Inquirer:"This Broadway team is amazingly well-qualified to return The Playhouse to the standard it enjoyed in its heyday."
To read thhe full article at the Philadelphia Inquirer, click here.
As previously reported by BroadwayWorld, Bucks Country Playhouse owner/producer Ralph Miller resigned from his post of the historic theater after 35 years due to financial troubles. His struggles to maintain the theater financially began in 2008. He wrote in an open letter to BroadwayWorld:
"It is with profound sadness that I must announce the end of my tenure as the owner/producer of the Bucks County Playhouse at the close of "A Christmas Carol" the final show of the 2010 season. These past 35 years have allowed me to know personally many faithful customers as well as the 4 generations of children who have "cut their theatrical teeth" on my stage. Unfortunately, the pressures of this recession and our mortgage lender have taken the drive from me that is needed to keep The Playhouse operating. Although The Playhouse property in New Hope may be taken from us, the wonderful memories, friendships, accomplishments, and the fact that I was able to keep The Playhouse alive for 35 years, will be a legacy of success. Thank you all for your support and kindness. I am truly blessed."
As BroadwayWorld reported in November of 2009, Miller had made one sole mortgage payment between 2008 and 2009, declared bankruptcy in 2009 to avoid selling The Playhouse in August of that year. it was his third bankruptcy since 1992.
Not adding to Miller's credibility is his history of running theater properties that go up in flames - literally. He owned the Pocono Playhouse, which was destroyed by a fire in early October of 2009, as well as the Falmouth Playhouse in Massachusetts, which burned in 1994, and the Woodstock Playhouse in New York, which again, was burned to the ground in 1988. Both the Falmouth Playhouse and the Woodstock Playhouse fires were deemed arson, yet no charges against Miller were ever filed. The cause of the 2009 fire at the Pocono Playhouse is still under investigation.
The Bucks County Playhouse, The State Theater of Pennsylvania, located in New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania is a national landmark for Broadway Plays and is rich in theatrical history. "Springtime for Henry" with Edward Everett Horton opened The Playhouse season in 1939 and the celebrities that followed are a who's who of the theater. Princess Grace Kelly, Bea Arthur, Jack Cassidy, Colleen Dewhurst, Bob Fosse, Merv Griffin, Gene Rayburn, William Shatner, Paul Lynde, George C. Scott, Liza Minnelli, Audra McDonald, Loretta Swit, Don Knotts, Andrea McArdle and John Travolta are just a few of the luminaries that have graced The Playhouse stage in our incredible list of Broadway productions.