Theatre West Virginia closing after 53 seasons - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Theatre West Virginia closing after 53 seasons

Photo from Theatre West Virginia on Facebook Photo from Theatre West Virginia on Facebook

BECKLEY (WVVA) - After 53 seasons of performances, Theatre West Virginia has ceased operations, effective today, according to a news release from the group.

The decision was unanimously decided by the board of directors at a meeting Tuesday due to "financial difficulties," the release states.

General Manager Gayle Bowling stated that the theatre has struggled with financial woes for the past several years.

"We are all heartbroken and devastated personally and professionally," Bowling said. "A very wet summer, coupled with funding reductions has left us with obligations we can't meet at this time. Our plan is to begin liquidating assets to satisfy our creditors and conduct the process in an orderly fashion. Employees were laid off as of this morning, with two donating time to help with the closing process."

The Educational Touring Company had been in rehearsals for fall and winter school performances across the state. Those scheduled performances are now being canceled.

The release further states that theatre officials learned last week that anticipated funding to support the touring company would not be coming.

"It's a sad day for Southern West Virginia," Bowling continued.  "Theatre West Virginia has been a huge part of my life for 23 years, and my hope is that, at some point in the future, it can be resurrected in a different way.  I do believe, to quote Dave Morgan's closing line in Honey in the Rock---as long as West Virginia has men of courage and vision, there will always be ‘honey in the rock'."

The release states the Bowling is working on a volunteer basis through the closure.

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