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PRESS RELEASE
EQUITY APPROVES 168 SEATS FOR THE COLONY’S 2001-2002 SEASON
26th Season Announced As Subscriptions Reach 4800,
Forcing Seating Expansion A Year Earlier Than Projected

Burbank, CA  February 19, 2001 — The Colony Theatre Company has received a unanimous vote from Actors Equity, approving the theatre’s seating expansion by 70%. So, early in the run of its current production, The Man Who Came To Dinner, The Colony expanded from 99 seats to 168 seats. 

“When we first planned the move from Silver Lake to our new 276-seat space in Burbank,” Producing Director Barbara Beckley explained, “we got permission from Equity to curtain off to 99 seats for the balance of the current season, and then for one full season, in order to give us a chance to get adjusted to the new location. Under the original agreement, we would make the jump to full Equity contracts at 276-seat capacity at the start of our second [2002-2003] season. However, from the day we announced a firm moving date last spring, our 3,200 subscriber base exploded. Since that time, almost 1,600 new subscribers joined us. We have just begun our campaign for the 2001-2002 season, and expect to top 5,000 subscribers before too long.

“While this in itself is thrilling, it creates a big problem for us: runs that are much too long. In order to accomodate subscribers and allow for single ticket buyers, we would have had to run The Man Who Came To Dinner for at least 14 weeks. And with so many new subscribers coming aboard, we didn’t want Man Who Came To Dinner to become our Fantasticks and run forever!”

Facing this dilemma, Beckley contacted Michael Van Duzer at Actors Equity. 

“Michael, John Holly, and the 99-Seat Committee were very gracious and understanding, and ready to help us,” she says. “They gave us permission to expand gradually, allowing us to move our curtains back to give us 168 usable seats. It was extremely visionary on their part to collaborate with us on the first step in this transition. It helps us grow in an orderly fashion, and allows for corresponding bumps in actor pay. While we remain under the rules of the 99-Seat Plan, Colony actors are now making substantially more money per performance, and getting rehearsal pay as well.”

As part of The Colony’s agreement with Equity, more seats will be opened up with each production of the 2001-02 Season, with the final leap to full capacity and weekly Equity contracts with the first show of 2002-03.

THE 2001-2002 SLATE

According to Beckley: “We think this is going to be a terrific season, with a lovely comedy, a powerful drama, and a classic musical. It was chosen to offer our audiences a wide variety of theatrical experiences, with both familiar and new work.”

The Last Night Of Ballyhoo, which won the 1997 Best Play Tony award, is a bittersweet comedy by Alfred Uhry, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Driving Miss Daisy. It’s Christmas, 1939. Gone With the Wind is having its world premiere and Hitler is invading Poland, but a segment of Atlanta’s Jewish elite are more concerned with who will be attending “Ballyhoo,” the social event of the season. The Freitag family is pulled apart and then mended again with plenty of gentle comedy, sweet romance, and unexpected turns as the characters are forced to come to terms with who they really are. 

The Last Night Of Ballyhoo will be directed by Scott Segall, director of last season’s Colony hit A Shayna Maidel. Previews begin April 26th for an opening May 5th. It will close approximately July 1. 

The Clearing by Helen Edmundson is a story of intrigue and treachery during a little-known episode of ethnic cleansing in the 17th Century, when the English government embarked on a quest to rid Ireland of the Irish, sowing the seeds of the troubles that still afflict that country today. The London Sunday Times said, “Edmundson’s writing is passionate, poetic, muscular….She is doing for 17th Century Anglo-Irish history what Arthur Miller did for 17th Century New England history in The Crucible: creating an idiom which resurrects the past but brings its conflicts within touching distance of the present.”

The Clearing will go into rehearsal in August for an opening September 29th. Director for this West Coast Premiere to be announced.

Into The Woods, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by James Lapine, features an ambivalent Cinderella, a mad Rapunzel, a Prince Charming with a roving eye, a Jack (of beanstalk fame) who’s not too bright, and a bloodthirsty Little Red Riding Hood in this fractured fairy tale that begins as a lively, irreverent fantasy and ends with a moving lesson about the stories we tell our children. 1987 Tony Awards went to Lapine’s book and to Sondheim’s music. 

Into The Woods will begin previews January 25, 2002 and open February 2. Director to be announced.

Burbank Center Stage – home of The Colony Theatre Company -- is located at 555 No. Third St. in Burbank, at the corner of Cypress, part of the popular Media Center Shopping District. Call (818) 558-7000 for reservations and information about subscribing. Fax number: (818) 558-7110.  E-mail: boxoffice@colonytheatre.org
 
CONTACTS: Barbara Beckley/Catherine Springer 
(818) 558-7000
Bob Canning, thewriteguy@home.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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