Penumbra Theatre Moves JULIUS BY DESIGN to Next Season

Penumbra Theatre Company, the largest professional African American theater in the country, announced the decision to move the production of Julius by Design from the current season to the 2011-2012 season. This is a proactive fiscal move in response to the challenges put forth by the current economy and will help ensure that Penumbra ends the year in the black.

"Over the last six years, Penumbra's board and staff established a strong infrastructure and are committed to remaining fiscally responsible," said Kathleen Edmond, Chair of the Penumbra Board of Directors. "Penumbra's ability to remain nimble and responsive to challenges and opportunities are the keys to our continued success. The Board has complete faith in the staff to be prudent managers. These decisions keep us on track to become a sustainable organization."

Additionally, over the last six years, Penumbra has refined its education and outreach and launched a new play development program. Both have commanded national attention. Combined with the main stage presentations, they create a tightly woven continuum to ensure that the authentic and unrestrained voice of black playwrights and artists l remain vibrant on the American theatrical landscape. The challenge and the goal are to support the high quality of these programs while ending every year in the black with sufficient cash reserves.

Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, stated "These harsh economic times make it even harder for arts organization to achieve sustainability, which is why I commend Penumbra's board and staff for being smart and having the courage to make difficult decisions."

Main Stage Adjustment: Julius by Design will be moved to the 2011-2012 Season. All patrons have the option to move their tickets to the new corresponding dates; donate the cost of their tickets; or receive a full refund. All patrons who have purchased tickets will receive information with more details before the end of March.

"Moving or cancelling a show is always a difficult decision, but I hope that our patrons will support our efforts to build for the future," stated Lou Bellamy, Penumbra founder and artistic director. "This is a solid business decision-we want to ensure the longevity of the organization. I couldn't ask for a better team to surround the art."


PENUMBRA THEATRE was founded in 1976 by Lou Bellamy to make socially responsible art - art that demanded a response, art with intent, art that could create change. At a time when roles for black artists were limited to stereotypes and comical representations, Penumbra produced theater that roared with authenticity through the unrestrained and rich voice of black artists and playwrights. This respect for cultural authenticity became Penumbra's signature style - and demand for it has reached new heights from theatres around the country fostering collaborations, new productions, tours and awards. This season, Penumbra joins forces with Arizona Theatre Company to co-produce Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, by August Wilson, directed by Lou Bellamy. The production played in both Tucson and Phoenix as part of Arizona Theatre Company's 2010-2011 season and will be presented in Minneapolis in February of 2011 at the Guthrie Theatre. For more information, visit

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