Tuesday morning, Miki Bone, managing director of Contemporary Theatre of Dallas, announced that CTD will be closing its doors after its current season is over. Appropriately enough, the company’s last mainstage show was a musical about magic — although it didn’t include an actual vanishing act.
That was the world premiere of the musical, ‘As We Lie Still,’ which closed Sunday. But three stand-up comedy and improv events remain on the schedule through Dec. 17th.
In her release below, Bone implies the theater’s facility is up for sale. Housed in a former church built in the 1930s, CTD was the only remaining live theater venue in the lower Greenville area (a number have come and gone over the years, mostly using church or former-church spaces). It was founded fourteen years ago by artistic director and actor Sue Loncar and supported by her and her husband, well-known personal injury attorney Brian Loncar. The Loncars significantly upgraded the church, adding a bar, wheelchair access and other amenities, such as a basement performance space.
Sue Loncar frequently appeared in roles in the theater’s early seasons but has not acted as often lately. In those early seasons, the company stuck mostly to popular comedies and musicals (‘Steel Magnolias,’ ‘Pump Boys and Dinettes,’ ‘On Golden Pond’). But in recent years, particularly under Bone’s management, CTD ventured into presenting performance artist Fred Curchack, a ‘new works cabaret,’ Paul Zindel’s dark comedy, ‘The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild’ and Bone’s own play, ‘Division Avenue.’
The lower Greenville area immediately around CTD has undergone a real estate revival in recent years as Greenville has been renovated and restaurants, bars, apartment complexes and a Trader Joe’s moved in nearby. Because of the pedestrian-friendly nature of the area, Bone states in the official release, ‘There is no doubt that CTD has contributed to the neighborhood’s rising status.” As a consequence, Bone says the church facility “has attracted a great deal of interest … as a valuable commercial property.”
“But as lives evolve, ambitions progress and creative focus expands,” Bone goes on, “it is clearly time for re-evaluation.”
To our CTD patrons,
As this is a week of Thanksgiving, I wanted to begin this message by expressing the tremendous gratitude I have for Sue and Brian Loncar. As arts patrons, they have provided a home for artists to create, and a place for audience to come together from all over the DFW Metroplex.
Sue’s mission these past 14 years has been to gather individuals for a shared experience, and to celebrate the human condition. She has certainly achieved that mission!! Our lives have all been enriched by the Loncar vision and dedication. They provided a space for people to come together to work and for audience to enjoy the company of friends.
On a more personal note, Sue has been a great friend to me and to many performing artists, designers, and audience. I’ve relished the opportunity to work with some amazing artists the past two seasons, and consider myself grateful for the chance to visit with so many of our patrons as they come through the door. One of the favorite parts of my job has been standing in the back of the theatre and witnessing the exchange between the performers and the audience – listening to what resonates in the exchange.
I invite you to respond to this email with a favorite memory about Contemporary Theatre of Dallas. It’s been a special place and deserves to be honored! We promise to pass along you message to the Loncars.
Happy Holidays, and consider visiting CTD for one of the three events (more on that below) remaining in 2016.
P R E S S R E L E A S E
News provided by:
Contemporary Theatre of Dallas
November 21, 2016
The End of an Era
After fourteen glorious years of producing compelling theatrical performances that have touched the lives of many, the Contemporary Theatre of Dallas is announcing that its current season will be its last.
Founded by Artistic Director Sue Loncar, CTD has functioned as a successful performing arts venue serving as the cultural magnet of Lower Greenville Avenue for nearly a decade and a half. Showcasing the work of the area’s finest talent is a highlight of CTD’s legacy. In fact, supporting area artists has always been a huge part of Loncar’s passion, having employed hundreds of local artists from all over the Metroplex. Her love and respect for actors, directors and designers has been a priority from the get-go, and was one of the core reasons she was inspired to open the theatre.
“My whole mission for CTD from its inception was to produce plays that I truly felt passionate about, and to employ talented, dedicated actors from DFW and compensate them fairly,” Loncar says.
“Lastly, I wanted to create a theatrical experience that really encapsulated our personality. CTD is one of a kind; it’s not just a place one goes to see a great show…it’s an evening with friends. Every time you enter our doors, we are genuinely thrilled to see you, and we make sure you know it.”
The theatre dates back to the 1930’s when it was originally constructed as a church. Since then, the neighborhood has evolved into a vibrant, iconic, pedestrian-friendly community surrounded by restaurants and bistros.
Managing Director, Miki Bone, who has brought the theatre full circle from a commercial venue to its current non-profit status, believes the Lower Greenville area has been elevated by having such a dynamic theatre as a part of its thriving culture.
“There is no doubt that CTD has contributed to the neighborhood’s rising status,” she says. “Our season subscribers and regular patrons come from all parts of the metroplex. It has absolutely added to the cultural development of the area in a substantial way, and has attracted a great deal of interest in the building as a valuable commercial property.”
Bone credits Loncar’s unique vision, a talented pool of artists, and a devoted following of theatre-goers for having contributed to CTD’s long-lasting success. But as lives evolve, ambitions progress, and creative focus expands, it is clearly time for re-evaluation.
“The CTD Brand and the building and the Loncar name are inextricably linked in the minds of the audience, critics, and theatre community,” says Bone. “One element cannot exist without the others; to try to continue on without one of those elements in play would be a disservice to that brand and its distinctive vision. And so, after having produced a critically and financially successful 14th season, it’s a blessing to be able to close on a high note with tremendous regard for all involved.”
“That doesn’t mean our creative endeavors are over or that we won’t work together in the future,” she added. “It simply means that our professional and personal goals have taken a turn, and it’s now time to celebrate CTD’s history and success while looking forward to other exciting, creative opportunities ahead.”
While Loncar feels nostalgic about this decision, she says she is ready for the next chapter in her life to begin with a firm belief that CTD’s legacy, and the joy it has brought to so many, will live on by motivating others to pursue their artistic dreams.
“Outside of being a devoted wife and mother, CTD has been one of the greatest accomplishments of my life,” says Loncar. “I am enormously proud of CTD; it has been an unending source of inspiration and delight, and I believe, will continue to be so for all those who had the special opportunity to experience it firsthand.”