Audit: SJ Repertory Theatre’s Fate in Peril

The managing director for San Jose's Repertory Theater said it would a huge loss if the theater closed because it is important to have a nationally renowned world class theater in the heart of Silicon Valley

 "I think it would be a huge loss."

San Jose Repertory Managing Director Nick Nichols says that's how it would feel if the 33-year old San Jose Repertory Theatre were to shut down.

"It's important for a world class city like San Jose to have a nationally renowned world class theater like San Jose Rep and to lose that would be a shame," Nichols said.

The Rep's recent audit by San Francisco firm Burr Pilger Mayer credits the Theatre for taking "substantial measure to reduce its operating costs, defer or eliminate certain programs, and continue to streamline production costs."

Auditors are concerned the special fundraising by the board members may not be sufficient saying it "cannot be relied on for future years."

"In the eyes of an auditor, because that fundraising is not a certainty, there is doubt," Nichols said.

The audit says things must change stating "Based on these uncertainties, there exists substantial doubt about the Theatre's ability to continue as a going concern [beyond August]."

If the San Jose Rep were to shut own, the Theatre says that would take out $9 million out of the downtown economy and leave a big hole in the arts community.

"The arts are very often the reflection of the soul of a city and I think that it's important to have groups like San Jose Rep," Nichols said.

The Rep's year to year fight has been going on for a while. In 2006, the Theatre almost shut down before the city stepped in and bailed out the Rep at the tune of $2 million.

An amount the Rep will have to pay back over the next 25 years. Danreb Victorio has performed on the San Jose Rep stage for a Filipino American production.

He's also watched numerous shows from the seats. He says losing the Rep would be a big blow.

"You take that away and it's just like another big building," Victorio said.

 The San Jose Rep says it has an action plan to get the auditors off their back. Namely by building up a cash reserve of $200,000 every year.

Nichols says the Rep will have $50,000 in the reserve by the end of tyhe year, thanks to foundations, corporations and individuals.

"It's going to be challenging, but that's never stopped us," Nichols said.

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