After 40 years and more than 300 productions, New Repertory Theatre announced that it will be closing its doors.
The company has been located for many years at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, and it expanded beyond the walls of the theater at the Arsenal Center for the Arts to put on a pair of moving plays during the Pandemic, Listen to Sipu and the Charles W. Lenox Experience.
The company Pandemic also brought financial woes for New Rep, and it suspended operations for nine months beginning in July 2021. In 2023, the company’s season included three plays, including Tony winners. However, those will be the final productions for New Rep.
On Oct. 18, New Rep sent out the following announcement:
After 40 seasons, over 300 productions, and a smash 2023 season, New Repertory Theatre’s Board of Directors has determined that it is not possible to sustain the organization going forward. Audiences and critics have responded enthusiastically to New Rep’s relaunch, but fundraising with major donors has fallen short of the theater’s goals for a sustainable path.
The Board has therefore initiated the process of formally dissolving the organization. It expects to have no assets at the conclusion of this process.
New Rep takes great satisfaction in its history and in particular the 2023 season, however it is subject to the same converging realities that have impacted so many theater companies throughout the country: post- pandemic economics, changes in the philanthropic landscape, challenges with the business model of regional theaters, and other factors beyond its control, along with the ending of emergency Federal support for the performing arts.
“We are so proud of the artistic excellence of our 2023 productions, the casts, design teams and staff, the rave reviews and strong ticket sales, and the fact that the theater is going out on the highest possible note,” said Board Chair Chris Jones. “Our artistic team has embodied the essence of New Rep’s Renewal Vision with excellence, professionalism, quality and spirit.”
Board Vice Chair Danielle Galligan expressed gratitude to the Greater Boston community that embraced New Rep’s vision and supported New Rep in attendance and financially over the years. “We are saddened by this outcome, yet grateful for the long run of this wonderful theater.”
As one of the Greater Boston area’s premiere mid-sized regional theater companies, New Rep has been an artistic haven for writers, performers, and audiences. For 40 years it has entertained theatergoers, premiered new work as well as classics, and provided educational access for children to the experience of live theater.
Said Resident Artists Lois Roach, Maria Hendricks and Michael Hisamoto “It is that fitting we close New Rep’s long and storied history with plays that encompass the battles we have fought throughout history and the hopes we have for a more beautiful future. And we reflect with pride on all the community work & cultural expansion we have impacted in Watertown and beyond that will resound in years to come. We celebrate all the artists involved in the history of New Rep and know that New Rep lives on through the people that have made the company what it is and was.”
After a nine-month suspension of productions during the pandemic, New Rep recommitted itself to a Renewal Vision of inclusion and diversity and a collaborative process centered on new work, new voices, and creative programming. Since re-opening, productions have included new works in the Pipeline Project, musical events, and collaborative community performances and events with local organizations including the Watertown library and public schools, as well as a world premiere and sold-out Tony award-winning shows.
“On behalf of the entire Board and organization, I express our deepest gratitude to our patrons and donors, to the artists whose work we have been privileged to share with this community, and to an amazing staff that consistently made it all happen,” Jones added.
More information on New Repertory Theatre at www.newrep.org.
New Rep sent out the following letter on Oct. 17:
To our dear Watertown friends,
The entire Artistic Team here at New Rep would like to express our gratitude for your partnership over the past eighteen months, as reflected by the press, audiences, new and town events as well as direct feedback from our very own Watertown citizens.
You have been an exemplary group to work with and we have enjoyed collaborating with you – which is why we wanted to tell you directly, and before we share this news publicly that, sadly, after our 40-year history, New Rep will be closing its doors.
Thanks to you, the company is going out on the highest possible note, with your collaborative efforts having embodied the essence of New Rep’s renewal vision with excellence, professionalism, quality and spirit.
After 40 seasons, over 300 productions, and a smash 2023 season, New Repertory Theatre’s Board of Trustees has determined that it is not possible to sustain the company going forward. Audiences and critics have responded enthusiastically to the company’s relaunch, but fundraising with major donors has fallen short of the Company’s goals for a sustainable path. New Rep takes great satisfaction in the Company’s history and in particular the 2023 season, however it is subject to the same converging realities that have impacted so many theater companies throughout the country.
In addition to the beauty and magic created on stage over the last 18 months, we are reflecting with pride on all the community work & cultural expansion we at New Rep have impacted in Watertown and beyond that will resound in years to come. The popular annual Watertowns Indigenous Peoples Day and incredibly well received Watertown Multicultural Fest/Noche de Dominó that are shining examples of this. Thanks to you, our partnerships, collaborative community initiatives, development of new works, performances & events curated with various Watertown organizations: ranging from grassroots to library & public schools will stay with us always. We have also made lifelong friends in the process. After 18 months, the growing interest and traction of all our successes as of late is truly bittersweet. However, we can also be truly proud of the impactful impression we have made and the legacy you will continue to forge here in Watertown.
Also, there will be an invitation only event celebrating New Rep where we look forward to recognizing the history and joy of this wonderful organization and celebrating you all on Monday December 11th. An announcement on those details will be forthcoming.
Maria Hendricks, Lois Roach, Michael Hisamoto, Angelica Potter