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Sycamore Rouge theater company transitions to new management

Sycamore Rouge to maintain its production plans

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Sycamore Rouge, Petersburg’s professional theater company, is losing its producing artistic director, who is leaving town to take a new job, and relinquishing its nonprofit status. But it will live on in name, managed by a partner company.

The theater company has faced deep financial problems in recent years after losing financial support from a key backer.

The company is now on firm financial standing after selling its former building, and plans to shift its management to another theater company, said kb saine, Sycamore Rouge’s producing artistic director.

“We looked at a series of partnerships that will allow us to increase the types of programming that we are doing, particularly in terms of education, but also to be partnering with other companies in the greater region,” saine said.

“It’s not a merger. We simply are going to turn over the management of our company to another peer company,” she said.

saine said the board is expected to name the company mid-July.

Last fall, Sycamore Rouge, which does about five big productions a year along with smaller productions, moved from a 9,000-square-foot building on West Old Street it was purchasing to a smaller rented space at 306 N. Sycamore St.

The theater delayed its 2012-13 season, launching it in December instead of October.

The theater company had a fundraising drive last year to raise $150,000 to make a balloon payment due on the mortgage.

saine said the company recently sold the building at 21 W. Old St.

Petersburg city tax records have not been updated to show the transfer. The records list the most recent sale in 2005 for $275,000. It lists the current assessment value as $370,600.

The sale “put us in very strong financial standing. It allowed us to get out from under that mortgage and other liabilities that we incurred over the years,” saine said.

The theater company’s production of William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” set for June 21 to July 13, is scheduled to go on as planned.

saine said she is moving to West Virginia to be an assistant professor at Davis & Elkins College, a small liberal arts college.

“It wasn’t necessarily all planned at the same time,” she said. “My husband and I both got jobs in neighboring towns, and so we are going to follow that path.”

She will be teaching acting, directing and theater history, she said. Her husband, Keith, will be the technical director at West Virginia Wesleyan College.

A going-away gathering for the saines is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. June 27 at The Bistro at Market and Grove in Petersburg.

Sycamore Rouge’s tax returns, obtained online from nonprofit reporting service GuideStar, show that for the calendar year that ended June 30, 2012, the theater company had revenue of $201,670 and expenses of $246,073. On the form, the book value of the theater company’s land, buildings and equipment is listed as $608,115.

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