The financially troubled Reprise Theatre Company says it has hired Stephen Eich, an L.A. theater veteran, to help lead its efforts to reorganize during its self-imposed hiatus.
The company is hoping to relaunch sometime in the summer of 2013, said actor Jason Alexander, who is Reprise’s artistic director.
In February, Reprise announced that it was suspending its mainstage productions due to weak projected ticket sales and a dismal financial outlook. The company, founded in 1997, has produced revivals of popular and lesser-known stage musicals at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse.
Eich has come on board as a consulting producer with the hope that he will join the company on a permanent basis, Alexander said. He replaces Joan Stein, who died earlier this year.
Eich served as managing director of the Geffen Playhouse from 2000 to 2008 and as executive director of the Pasadena Playhouse from 2009 to 2012. Before moving to L.A., he was the managing director of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.
During his tenure at the Pasadena Playhouse, Eich helped the company to reorganize during its period in Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Alexander said in an interview that Reprise most likely will not be based at the Freud in the future. “We loved UCLA, but the financials of working at the Freud no longer make much sense to us,” he said. The Freud seats approximately 550 people.
Reprise is looking at larger and smaller venues, but nothing has been decided, Alexander said.
Reprise leaders are currently focused on having a first production this coming summer followed by a mini-season that would take the company through the end of the year, he said.
Alexander said Reprise is discussing ways it can diversify its programming to include new stage works and possibly non-musical productions. In the past, the company has produced three to four shows a season.
Alexander said that Eich will help look for new ways the company can raise money and create a more regular presence throughout the year.