NEW ORLEANS, July 6, 2022—Southern Rep Theatre, a leading arts organization in the Gulf South, is closing after 36 years of artistic achievement and contributions to community.
The challenges of managing a local theater company over recent years proved too difficult to overcome. “As we lower the final curtain, we acknowledge this great loss to the community,” says Karen Swaim Babin, President, Board of Directors. “We also celebrate and honor Southern Rep’s long history and the many creative artists who have been part of the company.
“Unfortunately, financial pressures and other considerations during these extraordinary times have outpaced the available resources. With heavy hearts, we have exhausted all options to serve New Orleans with our best, and we must acknowledge that closing is our most honorable option.”
Playwright and scholar Rosary O’Neill founded Southern Rep in 1986. From the beginning, the company presented critically acclaimed, innovative productions that uplifted, inspired and entertained audiences. It quickly became a creative force in regional and national theater. Later, Ryan Rilette and Aimée Hayes continued that fine tradition, nurturing new plays and playwrights, and engaging students.
Along with an occasional musical and comedy, Southern Rep tackled serious subjects that illuminate the human condition. A few recent plays addressed racism (Son of a Man Coming Through), slavery (When Father Comes Home From The War), homophobia and family dysfunction (Fun Home), patriotism (Freedom), the morality of war (Grounded) and discrimination (Flowers For Hallie about Mahalia Jackson).
“Countless memorable performances have graced the Southern Rep stage,” Babin says. “So many talented actors, playwrights and theatre professionals have lent their talents to this company. We also applaud our loyal group of subscribers, supporters and audiences. We appreciate everyone who was part of the Southern Rep experience.
“We are inspired by our community’s continued work to ensure that excellent theatre productions are offered to our deserving region,” continues Babin. “We sincerely hope that Southern Rep has earned a special place in the fabric of the theatre community during its 36 years. Our desire is for our legacy to live on in the spirits of the theatre professionals who have been part of Southern Rep, and in the memories of outstanding theatre we have offered.”
Contacts: Karen Swaim Babin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative consultant Cameron-Mitchell Ware of CMWConsulting Firm has been managing SRT’s transition from public space, and can be contacted at (504) 495-7882, email@example.com.
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