Sonora, CA — After 24 years of never missing a production, Stage 3 Theatre Company has found itself in a crisis situation where the board says the show can clearly no longer go on.
This afternoon the board announced that it is pulling the plug on the balance of its 2017 season and that the company will effectively “go dark” for the determinable future.
Board spokesperson Olga Jones points to recent injuries to Sherry Dumos, the star of the company’s one-woman show “Lady With All The Answers,” during a freak recreational accident that forced the postponement of that production, which had been scheduled to open September 8.
However, even more calamitous to the theatre company she says are serious issues with Trado LLC owner/developer Doug Kennedy’s renovation of his downtown Sonora entertainment complex project, which houses Stage 3’s performance space.
Having already fallen months behind, Jones says Kennedy has been unable to commit to a completion date. In the meantime the company, which vacated its home of ten years at the end of last year for what it thought would be a few months, struggled with drawing audiences to shows it was able to book at Sonora High School and Columbia College when their theaters were not in use.
Due to the enormous cost of finding and renovating a performing space and operating the company, Jones says that the board made the hard decision to inform Operations Manager Kimberley Simmons and Technical and Production Director Hugo Martinez that their last day at work will be Oct. 1. She adds that a letter will be going out to supporters informing them of the situation at hand. Meanwhile, the board is doing all it can to look for move-forward solutions.
Kennedy, for his part, says his project has been mired in delays due to permitting and other issues dealing with various governmental agencies, utility companies and others — that Stage 3 is bearing the brunt of it. In a phone interview with Clarke Broadcasting from his summer home in Dewey Beach, Delaware, he lamented the regulatory difficulties of doing business in California and particularly in Sonora over other locales.
While both parties appear to be open to continue trying to work together, Jones says the Stage 3 board is hoping that through board and responsive community efforts a new performing space or other solution will come to light, allowing Stage 3 to reopen for audiences sooner rather than later.