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Bay Area Children's Theatre to Close, Citing Financial Challenges

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The cast of 'She Persisted, the Musical.'
The cast of 'She Persisted, the Musical,' an original adaptation of Chelsea Clinton's book about determined women in U.S. history, presented at Bay Area Children's Theatre in 2019. (Bay Area Children's Theatre)

After almost 20 years of presenting plays and hosting camps and classes for young actors, Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) announced on Thursday that it will close, effective immediately.

“The Board of Directors has made the incredibly difficult decision to close Bay Area Children’s Theatre,” said BACT board president Christina Clark Bloodgood in a statement, adding that the board is “heartbroken” about the closure.

BACT was founded in 2004 by Nina Meehan. In addition to its regular schedule, the company provided low-cost or free performances to school groups and disadvantaged youth. Over the past two decades, the company’s productions won 15 Theatre Bay Area awards.

“This organization has much to be proud of,” said Clark Bloodgood. “For nearly 20 years, BACT has brought joy to countless children and adults in the Bay Area and beyond.”

The Berkeley-based company cited the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic as a turning point, as ongoing operating expenses added to the organization’s debt. A recent “Save Our Stage” campaign brought in funds, but came up short in overcoming “growing, insurmountable financial burdens.”

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Parents who have registered for now-canceled camps and classes, BACT says, are encouraged to fill out an online form.

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