Charleston Stage Company Going Dark

Updated 4 years ago From Press Release

It was with a heavy heart and great reluctance that the Board of The Charleston Stage Company (CSC) voted to end the operation of the company at the conclusion of the scheduled events for 2012/2013. For nearly two decades CSC has enjoyed the resources and security of West Virginia State University’s College of the Arts and Humanities.

Unfortunately, due to administrative changes within the College of Arts and Sciences, the company had to leave the campus and fend for itself as an independent entity.

With the backing of the university, the company had the unique position of developing public taste through exciting theater experiences. Actors, directors, writers, and technicians worked together to create distinctive productions that stretched the imagination, challenged conventional thinking, and entertained the masses. CSC grew a reputation for providing fascinating, thought-provoking theater that reached beyond the usual canon of plays.

With a sudden and steep cut in resources, facilities, and leadership, the Charleston Stage Company soldiered on toward an unknown future. CSC continued to premiere exciting theater experiences—utilizing the very best in local talent—though the lack of funds began to diminish elements of production. Previously subsidized expenses fell into the lap of CSC. More and more money was used to cover rent, copyright fees, costumes, props, and others. Still, Charleston Stage Company was committed to providing quality entertainment to the Kanawha Valley.

Unfortunately, as audiences and support steadily decreased, it became clear that the continual operation of Charleston Stage Company was no longer feasible. The Board recognized that without a reliable home, sufficient investment of money, in-kind resources and volunteer time the Charleston Stage Company could not continue.

Though efforts were made to keep Charleston Stage Company functioning, it was not enough. During the 2012-2013 season, the Board sent out SOS letters to current and past technical staff, season ticket holders, audience members, potential sponsors, and actors outlining the growing difficulties of the CSC. Additionally the full Board participated in a series of “hold-your-feet-to-the-fire” seminars, offered by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, to find a solution to stay afloat. It was through these seminars that brought many of the issues to light.

Though Charleston Stage Company is taking its curtain call, the Board, members, and active participants truly appreciate the many years of patronage and opportunities to entertain audiences. It is hoped that CSC will be remembered as a thoughtful, engaging, and unique theater company that shined a light on numerous cultural and social issues. Its mission was to produce exciting theater experiences that challenged the status quo and provided a platform for an array of talented voices and visions. Ideally, some of the philosophy and influence of CSC will live on in the remaining Charleston theater companies.

The final board meeting of the Charleston Stage Company will take place on July 2nd at 6pm at Good News Mountaineer Garage at 221 Hale Street . Members of the Charleston community are duly invited to attend.

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