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Playhouse needs $1-million bailout

October 01, 2009|Mike Boehm

The Pasadena Playhouse isn't about to close its doors, but its new executive director, Stephen Eich, said that it needs a "cash infusion" of more than $1 million by year's end to begin the coming 2010 season confident that it can improve the "hand-to-mouth" existence it has fallen into since the economy soured.

Eich, who left a similar job at Westwood's Geffen Playhouse in 2008, said the main problems at the Pasadena Playhouse are a long-term inherited debt of $1.4 million that it has been carrying since 1994 and a more recent drop in donations since the economy tanked a year ago.

Now, Eich said, the playhouse needs to raise money quickly to cover $500,000 to $600,000 worth of bills and get out from behind the eight ball as it starts the new season.

The toll so far: Four employees have lost their jobs and, to save money, the playhouse brought the curtain down a week early on the run of Charles Randolph-Wright's "The Night of the Child," starring Jo-Beth Williams as a woman who goes to Brazil seeking release from a family tragedy. The play had been scheduled to end Oct. 4 but closed over the weekend.

-- Mike Boehm

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