Troubles mount for Words Players Theatre as it looks for new location
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Words Players Theatre in downtown Rochester is looking for a new home.
The nonprofit theater company will need to move out of its current space by July 1, according to executive director Kathy Kuhlmann. It's unclear whether the company will be able to find a new location in the near future.
Like many art groups in town, Words Players has expressed interest in the Chateau Theatre, which the city is currently trying to purchase.
"It sounds like there is a lot of talk about it being a performing arts center — for all sorts of performing arts groups, not a home for any one," said Kuhlmann in an email. "And it sounds like a decision on its use is quite a ways in the future. In the meantime, we need a new place."
The theater's current location — an aging building on a prime piece of downtown real estate — was purchased in 2013 by Chafoulias Cos for $400,000.
Kuhlmann said if Words Players was to stay in the building, the rent would "increase 10-fold to about $15,000 per month."
Adding to the troubles, the organization has about $10,000 in outstanding bills and individual donations are four to fives below where they need to be.
"We’re in a financially challenging place — probably one of the tightest places we’ve been in," said Kuhlmann. Words Players is struggling to attract grant money because an uncertain future location means "an uncertain future season," she said.
Words Players will show its final production at the current location in early May.
(Cover photo: 2014 / The Med City Beat)