Monday, March 10, 2008

Kalliope Stage, in Cleveland Heights, dies, but hopes to soon rise from the grave

Posted By on Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Kalliope Stage, the little black-box theatre that could, has closed. Facing the same monetary struggles as many regional theatres – that is, they’re way broke -- the cozy space in Cleveland Heights finally closed its doors earlier this month, right before a production of Fanny Hill was supposed to begin. A donation drive earlier in the year, organized by owners Paul Gurgol and Rex Snider, failed to keep afloat the small theatre, which has recently run such shows as Opal, Cabaret, 110 Degrees in the Shade, and Wild Party. ... Snider hopes the doors may one day reopen, but he says that will only happen with a complete overhaul, and possibly with partnerships with other regional houses. “If it continues, we’ll have to restructure it,” he says. “That amounts to building a business structure that it’s never had. You can almost consider it a blessing that we can kick back and restructure it.” “We can’t have volunteers handling the amount of money that is needed to produce a show,” he goes on. “All of the regional theatres are really struggling. We need a professional person, and maybe combining efforts with other theatres to survive.” Snider tells C-Notes that he and Gurgol are in talks with other regional theatres to perhaps pool resources or share some of the expense of putting on shows. A plus for Kalliope is the theatre itself, a convenient and cozy spot on Lee Road that is sure to draw some interest from prospective investors. Here’s hoping the spot won’t be dormant for long. – Vince Grzegorek

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