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November 11, 2010
Civic Theatre West ceases operations Wednesday night

By Marcus Crowder
mcrowder@sacbee.com

Roseville's Civic Theatre West ceased operations Wednesday night, board president Calvin Stevens has confirmed.

The community theater produced shows in two venues, Roseville Theater and Tower Theater.

Stevens said the theater's continuing debt of $500,000 had become untenable, and the board decided the responsible course of action was to close its doors.

"We had continuing unpaid obligations, but no operational buffer," Stevens said. "The responsible thing to do is to stop operations rather than keeping the wheels turning and hoping against hope when it really can't be done."

The nonprofit Roseville community theater was founded in 1987 by Bob and Rosemarie Gerould as Magic Circle Theatre. In 2009, the Geroulds were dismissed by the board, then led by Brent Null, who eventually became the artistic director. Null was let go from that part time position last month. In April of this year, the name was changed to Civic Theatre West.

Last year, the theater company's annual operating budget was $1.1 million. Civic Theatre West also has one the largest children's theater workshops in the state, and had more than 1,200 subscribers for its season last year.

Actors were told to go home Wednesday night as they came to theater for rehearsals of the upcoming productions of "Forever Plaid." Michael Coleman, director of "Deathtrap," which had opened last weekend, was told Wednesday night by Michelle Raskey, Civic Theatre's program director, that his show was closed.

"We could not in good faith continue to ask people to rehearse when we knew we would not be making these productions," Stevens said. "We called a meeting of the board last weekend to discuss options. All of the discussion were about ceasing because we did not see a way to continue."

Call The Bee's Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120.

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