Jeune Lune closes shop

Jun 23

Tony Award-winning Minneapolis-based theater company Theatre de la Jeune Lune will cease to exist as we know it. And those of us in the Bay Area know it thanks to Jeune Lune’s frequent collaborations with Berkeley Repertory Theatre. The company was just here with its gorgeous production of Figaro, and now comes news that there will be “a planned significant reduction in artistic and administrative staff, effective July 31, 2008.” That last comes from the letter posted online by Jeune Lune board president Bruce Neary.

Artistic director Dominque Serrand (in the photo above, a scene from Figaro, which Serrand directed as well) also posted a letter explaining that for its first 14 years, Jeune Lune was an itinerant company, then, in 1992, the company purchased and renovated a warehouse space, creating their own theater. Here’s what Serrand had to say about that:

…we are faced with an excruciating decision. With the organization burdened by mounting and unmanageable debt, the Board of Directors has voted to put Jeune Lune’s home up for sale. After much soul searching and extensive fundraising and debt management efforts, we have determined it to be the only prudent and fiscally responsible choice. What has been acclaimed, as one of the most striking and unique theatre spaces in the country will go dark. It is a huge loss, a loss for us, for all of the artists who work with us, for our audience and for the community at large, both locally and nationally.

He goes on to describe the company’s last 30 years as “amazing” and says they never “sought nor desired to be an institution.” Rather, Jeune Lune attempted to exist in a playground in which to ” gather with other adventurous souls and create the unimaginable.”

Here’s more from Serrand:

The theatrical experience is an event truly of the moment — immediate, fleeting and ephemeral. Yet in the space of that moment something takes place that is transformative to the human spirit and remains indelible in our memory — the stuff that dreams are made of, the stuff we carry with us forever. We hope you will treasure well the memory of Jeune Lune.

For information visit www.jeunelune.org

One comment

  1. Mike "Mikhail" R. /

    Oh, my god! I just heard the news three years too late. I moved to SW Wisconsin ten years ago and thank the gods of theatre that we are blessed with American Players Theatre. They are not as exressionistic and daring or as prone to navigate the collective subconscious as Theatre de la Jeube Lune, but they survive, 33 years strong… I will miss TJL terribly… I hope that they rise like the phoenix, transformed, or at least that they innoculate the survivors with that scintillating gem of genius and playfulness.

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