The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

September 18, 2013

Theatre West Virginia ceases operations effective today

Wet summer, funding reductions play heavy role in decision


From Staff Reports

BECKLEY — After 53 seasons, Theatre West Virginia is announcing its closure as of today, Sept. 18, 2013.

According to a release sent by the theater company, it was unanimously decided at a Tuesday meeting of the Board of Directors that due to financial difficulties, the company had no choice but to cease operations.  

According to TWV General Manager Gayle Bowling, TWV has struggled with financial woes for the past several years.

“We are all heartbroken and devastated personally and professionally,” said Bowling. “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 its fall and winter school performances for the past three weeks, and shows were booked for the touring season in schools across the state that are now being canceled. Late last week, TWV officials learned that anticipated funding to support the Educational Touring Company would not be forthcoming.

At this time, summer performances are not being contemplated.  

“It’s a sad day for Southern West Virginia,” said Bowling, who is working on a volunteer basis during the closure. “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’.”

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