After ten years of very strong work, New Century Theatre Company is throwing in the towel. The company was founded by a bunch of talented theater artists who weren't getting the kind of work they were most interested in making, so they set out to do it themselves. Ten years later, many of the founding members as well as artists who joined the group later have ascended to the upper echelons of Seattle's theater establishment.
There may have also been some burnout. It's hard for very small companies to get audiences into seats, no matter how good a show is.
As NCTC says in a statement: "The company helped launch the careers of many of Seattle’s best-known theatre professionals and helped pave the way for other innovative and risk-taking theatre organizations." The statement goes on to say:
The company’s decision follows the departure of several longtime and founding members to pursue other opportunities and leadership roles in the arts—as well as a realization by the remaining members that their own busy careers made it increasingly challenging to maintain a collectively run organization on a lean budget and with a tiny part-time administrative staff.
As one of the few mid-level theatre companies in the region to pay its artists professional wages, NCTC maintained a steadfast commitment to supporting the working artist. Despite ever-present financial challenges in meeting this commitment, NCTC is debt free as it closes its doors.
NCTC had announced a leadership change a few months ago, and intended at the time to keep making work, even though the group's leader and many of its founding members had decided to move on. So what happened? "The remaining members were really busy, really successful in their freelance careers, and we realized we didn't have the level of commitment necessary to revitalize a company," an insider told The Stranger.
RIP, NCTC. Thanks for the years of amazing work.