Vote gives Grove Theater a reprieve

The Garden Grove City Council voted 3 to 2 to give Grove Theater Center a monthlong reprieve during which the small professional theater company and city officials will try to resolve a long-standing rift over whether the troupe is keeping its two city-owned stages busy enough and accessible enough to community groups.

An ad hoc committee had recommended in November that GTC be ousted and Shakespeare Orange County replace it in managing the 172-seat indoor Gem Theater and the adjoining outdoor Festival Amphitheater. But council members William J. Dalton, Mark Leyes and Van T. Tran blocked the ouster at a meeting Tuesday night, and asked the city's staff to try to fashion a new arrangement that would make it possible for GTC to pursue its primary interest -- putting on its own productions -- while also accommodating local requests to use the theaters.

Regardless of the outcome, GTC, which has run the theaters since 1994, will stage a four-play season at the Gem from Jan. 29 through Aug. 3 because any contract revocation would not go into effect for eight months.

-- Mike Boehm

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