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Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Theater News: Common Ground Theatre to Go Dark in December

Posted by on Tue, Nov 8, 2016 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Shelby Hahn in Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern's Maccountant at Common Ground Theatre - PHOTO COURTESY OF COMMON GROUND THEATRE
  • photo courtesy of Common Ground Theatre
  • Shelby Hahn in Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern's Maccountant at Common Ground Theatre

Common Ground Theatre
, the influential, intimate Durham venue that has nurtured regional independent theater and improv comedy throughout its twelve-year run, is set to cease operations next month.

Last night, executive director Shelby Hahn told the INDY that he will step down at the end of December. Hahn took the post in July 2015 after the departure of former director Devra Thomas. Following an unsuccessful search across the theatrical community for his replacement, the company’s board decided to cease operations when Hahn leaves.

Rachel Klem and Michelle Byars created the theater in 2005 to provide an affordable rehearsal and performance space for small and emerging theater companies with no permanent venue to call their own.

During its lifespan, Common Ground hosted notable first productions from groups including Black Ops, Common Wealth Endeavors, and Tiny Engine Theatre, and provided a dependable base of operations for more established yet homeless companies like Bare Theatre and Ghost and Spice Productions. Common Ground's devotion and service to regional theater earned it an Indies Arts Award in 2009.

The theater will close after the December production of its long-running holiday satire, A Trailer Park Christmas, December 8–18. Watch our pages for a fuller account of the closure and what it means for local theater in the coming weeks.

Rachel Klem and Devra Thomas at Common Ground Theatre in 2013 - FILE PHOTO BY JUSTIN COOK
  • file photo by Justin Cook
  • Rachel Klem and Devra Thomas at Common Ground Theatre in 2013

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