Jason Alexander on the end of Reprise Theatre Company
Jason Alexander has shed some more light on the recent demise of Reprise Theatre Company. The “Seinfeld” veteran had served as artistic director of the Los Angeles musical theater organization since 2007 and has appeared in several of its productions.
Reprise went on hiatus last year, citing financial hardship and problems in expanding its audience base. This week, the 15-year-old company sent a letter to subscribers saying that it has officially ceased operations.
Alexander said in a statement sent to The Times that Reprise was able to raise some “generous funding” during its hiatus, but was still not able to proceed financially without risk. He also said that Reprise had been in negotiations with a new venue, but he didn’t divulge the name.
Reprise had performed mainly at the Freud Playhouse at UCLA. To lead its reorganization efforts during the hiatus, the company had hired Stephen Eich, an L.A. theater veteran who was the managing director of the Geffen Playhouse from 2000 to 2008 and more recently was executive director of the Pasadena Playhouse.
The mission of Reprise was to produce revivals of beloved as well as lesser-known musicals. It produced three or four mainstage shows a year, as well as recitals and other events. Its last mainstage production was a revival of “Cabaret” in late 2011.
Here is Alexander’s full statement:
“While we were able to raise some generous funding and despite promising negotiations with a new venue, the leadership of Reprise concluded that we were still not financially able to proceed with our new mission without risk and that we could not in good faith ask our donors to invest in something we couldn’t reasonably guarantee would sustain. That, coupled with how much more time we would require to begin, led to a decision that for all practical purposes, Reprise should gracefully lower the curtain.”
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