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Serendipity to Leave Mid-Size Coronet in July : Theater: Financial considerations force the group, which puts on children's plays, to downsize. The company hopes to tour small sites.

March 09, 1994|LYNNE HEFFLEY | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After four years and 30 shows, the Serendipity Theatre Co., which took over the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles in the summer of 1990 as a resident professional children's theater, is leaving the mid-size Equity house on La Cienega Boulevard at the end of July.

Artistic director Scott Davidson said that although "we're very pleased with what we've been able to accomplish," financial considerations are forcing the company to downsize. Davidson blames "a lack of press," natural and man-made disasters, a subscriber base that has shrunk from 3,000 to 2,500 because "a lot of our subscribers have moved away" and the belief that in the current economy "most people consider theater a frill or an extravagance."

"We were contemplating this in December because we had not had strong walk-up, strong houses," said Davidson. "We began to realize we needed to reconsider before we launched into a fifth year there."

The company's goal is to "stay together as a production company and tour to small sites, with smaller seasons. All of that is predicated on securing locations and finding a facility. Even though we won't be producing full time, we still have to have a space where we can store costumes and properties, rehearse and construct. It would be nice if we could eventually find a subsidized home."

Serendipity is "potentially" set to do several shows at the Norris Theatre in Rolling Hills Estates as part of the theater's children's series in 1994-95, according to Davidson and the Norris' Michelle Roberge.

Davidson and executive director Jody Davidson, his wife, are "considering a move to the East Coast," however, and in that event, Scott said that he was "sure" that managing director Katy Henk would take over the company.

Following the run of the comedy "Amelia Bedelia," which ends on April 10, Serendipity will close its residency at the Coronet with "Anne of Green Gables" (April-May) and "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs" (June-July).

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