Performance Network Theatre Shuts Doors

The board of Performance Network Theatre, a professional theater company based in downtown Ann Arbor, has suspended operations after determining that the theater ”is not currently financially viable.” The theater issued a press release announcing the decision on May 22. [.pdf of press release]

According to the group’s website, the board of directors are: Ron Maurer, president; Tom Crawford, vice president; Steve Gerber, vice president; Tom Dezure, treasurer; Linda Levy, secretary; Ed Abbott; Mary Avrakotos; Norman Bash; Gene Dickerson; Joe Grimley; Hanna Goodstein; David Herzig; Steven Klein; Jessica Litman; Stephen Palms; Myra Poplin; Sheila Sasser; and Phil Stoffregen.

Seven staff members are also listed on the site: Erin Sabo, managing director; David Wolber, artistic director; Carla Milarch, associate artistic director; Logan Ricket, associate development director; Joshua Parker, technical director; Becky Fox, children’s theatre director; and Jennifer Pan, assistant technical director & graphic designer.

The press release provides no other details about the financial situation, but states that the board ”wants to thank the community, actors, directors, designers, donors, and subscribers for their long-standing support of the theatre.”

The theater was founded in 1981 and is currently located in the ground floor of 120 E. Huron St., at the southwest corner of Huron and Fourth Avenue. The building also includes Courthouse Square senior apartments.

In recent years the theater has struggled financially. In April of 2009, the theater announced that it needed $40,000 or it would close – an appeal that resulted in a rush of donations.

Update: A meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. at Hathaway’s Hideaway, according to an event notice posted on Facebook by Carla Milarch. From the post: “Join us for an informational and brainstorming session about moving forward in the wake of Performance Network Theatre’s recent closure. This will be an info-share as well as a discussion of ideas for keeping professional theatre alive in Ann Arbor.” Hathaway’s Hideway is located at 310 S. Ashley in Ann Arbor.


  1. May 22, 2014 at 10:03 pm | permalink

    Thank you for the reminder about the 2009 financial issue. I really like PN and was shocked by this news. My thought was that it all came out of the blue until I read your article…so maybe there was some warning after all? Either way, I am so sorry for the folks who lost their jobs and for all of the actors who worked so hard on Richard III (which was great, even though I don’t really understand Shakespeare).

  2. By Mary Morgan
    May 25, 2014 at 2:45 pm | permalink

    I’ve updated this report to reflect the fact that a “town hall” meeting has now been scheduled for Wednesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. at Hathaway’s Hideaway (310 S. Ashley) to talk about the future of professional theater in Ann Arbor.