The Hypocrites, the top-notch Off-Loop theater troupe, is pulling the plug on the final two productions of its 20th-anniversary season following disappointing turnout for this fall’s two shows, the delightful You On the Moors Now and the current Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes.
Cinderella, which opened just before Thanksgiving and was scheduled to continue through January 8, will instead close December 31. Director Marti Lyons’s production of Margaret Edson’s Wit, already in rehearsals, will cut short its run by several weeks, now playing January 20 to February 19. The two remaining shows announced for early 2017—The House of Martin Guerre, by Leslie Arden and Anna Theresa Cascio, to be directed by Geoff Button, and Lynn Nottage’s Las Meninas, a Chicago premiere to be directed by Jess McLeod—will not go forward. Actors and others who had committed to the future productions were being informed of the news today.
Hypocrites founder and artistic director Sean Graney confirmed the news late this afternoon, citing a dramatic dropoff in both box-office sales and fundraising goals. “It kills me to cut the season short and release so many amazing artists and staff from promised employment. The money is just not there to continue as we have been,” Graney said in a prepared statement. “The Hypocrites will retain its nonprofit status. I will work on drafting a new mission and artistic model for our future and share more information in the next few weeks. I want to thank our loyal artists, employees, donors and fans for their understanding and dedication.”
The Hypocrites’ news comes at the close of a week that began with an announcement from Oracle Productions that it would be ceasing operations effective immediately. Graney’s wife, director Vanessa Stalling, had been named the new artistic director at Oracle in July.
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