Egyptian prepares for new day with meeting
May 1, 2009
With only one of the Egyptian Theatre’s four planned major musicals announced for the next season, the board of directors plans to hold a public meeting May 4 at 6 p.m. to discuss the future of the historic stage.
Patrons will be able to ask questions and make recommendations to determine what will be on the calendar. Despite recent overhauls, season-ticket holders can expect a full slate of shows, according to Jeff Groy, chairman of the board of directors.
In March, the board of directors decided to lay off artistic director Terence Goodman and revamp the Egyptian’s schedule to keep the theater’s doors open. The nonprofit theater still carries about $150,000 in debt, Groy said. But with careful planning, the Egyptian could pay off its debt within three years, he added.
The overhaul calls for more activities for Parkites, continued professional theater and an expanded Youtheatre program. The overhaul aroused fears in patrons concerned about the quality of future programming, since the theater is no longer affiliate with an actors union, as it had been in the past.. Some wondered if the Egyptian was closing its doors.
Quite the contrary, Groy said. "The decisions we’ve made focus on stopping the bleeding and retaining vendors," he said, citing the fact that several recent productions at the Egyptian have lost money. "Our focus is that we’re not going to do a show where we don’t at least break even."
As a community theater, Groy wants the Egyptian to reach out to school groups, artists and young talent.
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"One purpose of the public meeting is to let people know that this is their theater," Groy said. "It seemed to not be fair to set the calendar without asking what people want."
The Egyptian unveiled its summer schedule April 27 but will await feedback from patrons before booking the rest of its artistic calendar. So far, "High School Musical 2" is the lone musical slated for the stage. It runs from Sept. 10 – 26. Groy could not say when the Egyptian’s full calendar of shows would be announced.
This weekend’s run of Park City Follies is the first production to be staged at the Egyptian since "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" completed its run in early March.
The current summer schedule features theYoutheatre show "Once on This Island" May 14-16 and a handful of acting camps.
The Egyptian board of trustees and staff invite the community to provide feedback at a town hall meeting on May 4, starting at 6 p.m. at the Egyptian. Those unable to attend may email suggestions to: