In the Arts: Debt and Infighting Burden Black Colorado Theater

March 9, 2010, 06:00 AM ET

By Andy Markowitz

Debt, shrinking audiences, and internal conflicts are threatening the future of Shadow Theatre, Colorado’s only black stage company, The Denver Post reports.

The 12-year-old group’s artistic director resigned last week after eight months on the job, citing power struggles with the theater’s board and claiming he is owed back pay. Shadow is $60,000 behind on rent in its 191-seat Aurora, Colo., theater, which opened in 2008, and audiences have dwindled to less than a dozen patrons for some performances.

In other arts news, auditors say California’s San Jose Repertory Theatre might not survive the summer after nearly doubling its losses last year, says the Associated Press. Despite receiving $300,000 a year from the city of San Jose for operating costs as well as rent-free use of a partially city-built home, the organization lost about $407,000 last year, up from $221,000 in 2008.

Also, John L. Gray is stepping down as president of the Autry National Center of the American West, according to the Los Angeles Times. With over 11 years in office, Mr. Gray was credited with transforming an institution devoted to the legacy of the film and recording star Gene Autry into a multifaceted museum and center for the study of the western United States.

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