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LA MIRADA : Theatre Commission Forced to Make Exit

October 20, 1994|JOHN CANALIS

The curtain has closed on the city's Theatre Commission.

In an attempt to reduce the city's annual subsidy to the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, about $500,000 after the 1993-94 season, the City Council recently dissolved the five-member advisory committee.

The council meets weekly and can handle theater business in a more timely fashion than did the commission, which met once a month, City Manager Gary Sloan said.

The unpaid commission had advised the council on the theater's budget, marketing and programming for about 18 years. Commissioners were appointed to two-year terms by council members, but there were no term limits.

Cathy Moses, a 15-year member of the commission and its chairwoman, said she disagrees with the council's move: "When you lose the commission, you lose contact with the community."

Jeff Brown, executive director of the theater, said recent changes concerning its operation require closer contact with the council. A new professional acting company, Fullerton-based McCoy-Rigby Entertainment Inc., is starting its first season at the theater in November with a production of "To Kill a Mockingbird."

The city decided to hire the group, which is operated by former Olympic gymnast Cathy Rigby and her husband, actor Tom McCoy, after the former production company, Beverly Hills-based Rogers Productions, suffered years of declining ticket sales, Brown said. Rogers had been with the theater for 17 seasons. McCoy-Rigby was awarded a contract in December, 1993, and was brought on in July.

The theater is working with a $2.2-million budget this year, up $350,000 from the 1993-94 season, Brown said.

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