Vpstart Crow Productions Takes Final Bow by Shellie Jablonowski

Vpstart Crow Productions Takes Final Bow

It was with great sadness that I read this announcement today. Vpstart Crow Productions had produced so many fine productions and we were honored to have seen and reviewed some two of them this year:
Arsenic and Old Lace.
Six Degrees of Separation. (And a preview article).

“Vpstart Crow Productions, a theater group based in Manassas, Virginia, announced its closure. A number of circumstances resulted in the decision; however, financial issues played the key role.

Debt became the proverbial albatross despite the efforts of private and business donors as well as some county funding. The downward trend of live performance attendance vs. movie-going, many other live theater options, and a thinning pool of production personnel helped to create the decline of the group.

Board President Cory Okouchi states, “This company has been a huge part of our family for many years – my wife and I met during Julius Caesar. It was a very difficult decision to let it go, but the waning community support over the last several years has made it impossible to continue. I am thankful for the opportunities and friends I’ve made, and I look forward to keeping up with everyone in their future endeavors.”

Carole Preston (Abby Brewster), Geoffrey Baskir (Mr. Witherspoon), Bryan Friel (Mortimer Brewster), and Dorothy Scheutze (Martha Brewster) in ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’ Photo by Cory Okouchi.

Additionally, where other theater groups have theater space they can rent as a means of income, Vpstart Crow has always rented their performance space. Initially, performances were held at the Cramer Center in Old Town Manassas, but in the past few years their home was at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus of George Mason University in Manassas.

The cast of ‘6 Degrees of Separation.’ Photo courtesy of Vpstart Crow Productions.

“We are sorry to see the end of the journey for Vpstart Crow, but we understand and support the Board’s action,” said Rick Davis, Executive Director of the Hylton Center. “The company has been an important element in the arts landscape of this region for a long time and we have very much enjoyed our partnership and the good work presented by Vpstart at the Hylton. Around the country, the last several years have been very difficult for theater companies, with many smaller groups, and some large ones, making this same difficult decision.”

Vpstart Crow Production’s website.


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