The Nonesuch Theater in Fort Collins is closing, but not without a glimmer of hope

After a seven year run at its home in Fort Collins, the Nonesuch Theater -- currently in the midst of its run of The Art of Murder, by Joe DiPietro (the same guy who wrote I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) -- is gearing up to draw the red curtain for the last time in mid April. "It's very disappointing," acknowledges Nick Turner, part-owner, director and main producer for the theater over the last couple of years, "but we had a good run." And despite the disappointment, he says, there's still a couple of bright spots on the horizon.

"It was a combination of a couple of things," he says of the decision to close, noting that the theater has been a for-profit LLC all along. "I feel like we could definitely keep going along here, but we were not going to be personally gaining anything for a long time, and we all needed to look at our personal situations."

One result of the lack of cash flow, Turner says, has been repurposing the theater's space to accommodate other things -- for some time, the company has used the space to host other acts, for example -- the big one being that the company has moved its La-de-da Performance School into the building. "And we just kind of mutually agreed with the landlord that that's not what the space was meant for, a school for kids," he says. "They're kind of rough on it. They're loud."

Still, though the performance school and the economic recession are two major parts of the decision to close, Turner observes that, in this case, there might be two sides to the coin.

"I think people are rediscovering the artist in themselves because of the recession," he says. "The way we do things is changing -- people who have never thought about it are going back to arts classes, they're picking up instruments again. They're doing the things they've always wanted to do. They're not necessarily going to shows, but they're doing things that are satisfyking and enriching to themselves. I mean, I'm part of that myself with this closing. I want to go back to school. I want to learn Spanish. If you're out of a job, you know, you get to think about things besides your job every day."

Besides, he says, "La-de-da is doing great. We're actually adding classes."

For now, the theater will finish its run of Art of Murder this weekend, and then hosts the Open Stage Theatre Company for its production of A Picasso into March, during which time it will also do a late night show on Saturday Nights. Finally, from March 25, the theater will bring back its production of My First Time, an interactive production that has cast members telling the story of their first sexual experiences, from earlier this year -- and so it is in this story that's increasingly about coins with two sides that the first time will ironically be the last time. At any rate, "the actors want to do it, it was well received and it was very fun," says Turner. "It'll be a good way for us to go out."

And after that? "Well, if anyone needs a wiser but sadder theater guy," says Turner, "I'm available."

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte