Theater of the First Amendment Announces Temporary Suspension of Operations

Posted: March 15, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Artistic Director Rick Davis and Managing Director Kevin Murray have announced that Theater of the First Amendment (TFA), George Mason University’s professional theater in residence at the Center for the Arts, will temporarily suspend operations as of March 18.

The TFA 2006-07 season will not take place.

“We are a company that has a small staff and large ambitions,” says Davis. “There are plans in place that will allow TFA to have a dedicated venue to call home in the coming years. Revenue has been tight, and with new initiatives afoot, this suspension will allow the TFA artistic leadership time to re-examine and re-invent the company with a clear vision toward the future. We are confident that TFA will return to the arts community stronger than ever. The TFA staff will remain in place to research, plan and execute these new initiatives.”

“Our goal is to create a new business model for TFA,” adds Murray. “George Mason University has supported us for 15 years with staffing and facilities, and continues to do so, but production costs are the responsibility of the theater. We depend on ticket sales, government and foundation grants, corporate sponsorships and individual donations to make the art happen.”

Despite increased fundraising activities, the organization is facing a deficit this season.

“It is obvious to us that we need to do business differently,” says Murray. “We will not put our company, or our board, into a situation where we need to ask for a bailout from the university or the community to rescue TFA. Instead, we are committed to making our supporters proud of the way we handle the situation. We will be back.”

Davis says, “We consider our strong history of innovative work, our mission and our relationships with artists, our board and the community to be strong foundations upon which to build. We are already at the idea stage of several interesting initiatives. Once our plans are firm, we will have some exciting announcements to make.”

Founded in 1990, TFA’s mission is to provide playwrights the resources to create new work and to offer its audiences thought-provoking plays.

In its 15-year history, TFA has produced 40 full productions, including 21 world premieres and five premieres of new translations or adaptations. TFA’s productions have received 37 Helen Hayes nominations and 12 Helen Hayes Awards.

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