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American Cabaret in transition

January 22, 2009
UPDATE: More news from ACT.

The changes at American Cabaret Theatre go well beyond cancelling a single production (see original post below). Information released today states that the company is under new management and will leave its home at the Athenaeum.

Shannon Forsell--a familiar face and voice from previous ACT productions--is the new Managing Director. She says the company will focus on "smaller, more intimate and authentic cabaret shows."

Among the casualties of the transition is Bob Harbin, Artistic Director of ACT, whose position was among four full-time jobs eliminated.

As to venue, Forsell says that "...rising lease fees, restrictions that exclude ACT from receiving beverage revenues, and sound issues from outdoor concerts have made this no longer a viable space for the organization.” New performance spaces are being considered, with an announcement hoped for within weeks.

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Earlier post.

In a Jan. 20 letter to cast and crew, ACT board of directors chair Barbara Weaver Smith announced the decision to cancel the theater's upcoming production of the musical "Cabaret."

"In the current economic climate," she writes, "we do not have the resources to accomplish this plan, which seemed reasonable several months ago but is now impossible."

The production, scheduled to open March 27, included local actors Charles Goad (now in "To Kill a Mockingbird" at the IRT), Marni Lemons, Jill Kelly (current in Beef & Boards' "Don't Dress for Dinner") and Miki Mathioudakis.

"We are committed to preserving American Cabaret Theatre, and I hope there will be future opportunities for you to perform on our stage," writes Smith.

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